Kin Groups and Descent. While most Alaskan Athapaskans had matrilineal descent and a tripartite matriclan Structure, the Ingalik were bilateral. Formerly matrilineal, they changed through contact and intermarriage with the bilateral Eskimo. Clans were unknown, although the Ingalik "partner" system—a special relationship between two people in separate villages—was a widespread Athapaskan trait and may have been a vestige of the clan system.
Kinship Terminology. Ingalik kinship terms follow the Eskimo system with identical parallel and cross-cousin terms, which are differentiated from those for siblings. Kin terms imply generational differences, and lineal kin are distinguished from collateral. Also present is the Athapaskan distinction between older and younger siblings.