Kin Groups and Descent. In the pre-Hispanic period, many local groups were organized as demes, a practice that continues in at least some communities in the area today. For purposes of inheritance, descent is reckoned bilaterally. Compadrazgo, or ritual kinship, is extremely important in all areas. There are several different kinds of compadrazgo relationships, but those deriving from baptism and marriage are considered the most significant. The compadrazgo tie extends beyond the immediate partners and the godchild to embrace a range of lineal and collateral relatives, who may then refer to one another by kinship terms.
Kinship Terminology. Mixtec is characterized by Hawaiian cousin terminology. Three separate terms for siblings and cousins are used, depending on whether the persons are of the same or the opposite sex.