Kin Groups and Descent. Hieroglyphic inscriptions of the elite ruling class suggest that the centers of pre-Hispanic communities were inhabited by patrilineal and patrilocal extended families in which dynastic rulership would most often pass from father to son. Dynastic lineages are represented in great detail in hieroglyphic texts, tracing the right to rule back to cosmological creator deities and thereby linking kings with the supernatural realm and affording them divine authority. Spanish Conquest and subsequent subjugation removed this dynastic level from the social hierarchy, and a patrifocal system remains for the general populace.
Kinship Terminology. Both Maya and Spanish terms are used in a patrifocal bilateral system.