Kin Groups and Descent. The kinship systems of the Western Keresans differ from one another and also from the systems of the Eastern Keresans. Matrilineal exogamous clans prevail in both the Western and Eastern tribes. Both Acoma and Laguna lack the patrilineal moieties, or kiva organizations, that are found among the Eastern Keresans. Laguna shows a tendency to link clans in what can be considered rudimentary phratries. Among the Eastern Keresans, clans and kiva groups operate independently; it has been suggested that the kiva groups were once endogamous, making the clans in each moiety distinct. Today, where moieties, or kiva groups, are concerned, each moiety normally contains a number of clans that are also present in the other group. A major distinction between the Keresan clan and the moiety is the ease with which a kiva affiliation may be changed; adoption from one clan into another still involves considerable ceremony. The literature on Santa Ana Pueblo suggests a unique relationship between clan and kiva that is found in no other Keresan tribe. Kiva membership, because it may be easily switched, is sometimes discussed under the heading of nonkin associations. Marriages can occur within the kiva group; if not, the wife shifts to the kiva of her husband. Later, under certain circumstances, the couple may change their Memberships to the other kiva.
Kinship Terminology. The Western Keresans show greater variability between themselves and also when compared to the Eastern Keresans. Terms of kinship tend to be similar among the several Eastern Keresan tribes. Distinctions are commonly made between terms of address used by the two sexes, and recognition of age-generational differences has also been noted.