Kin Groups and Descent. Mescalero Apache are Matrilineal; however, men are not ignored, especially if one's Lineage includes an important warrior. People today use surnames that are sometimes of one's mother's band or family, sometimes of one's father's, and sometimes a transliteration of a famous ancestor's name into English. People consider as Siblings all the children of one's mother as well as the children of one's mother's sisters. Sometimes a distinction is made among siblings with the phrase, "same mother, same father"; however, the crucial link is through the mother and laterally from her. Today, with the mid-1980s adoption of a new Tribal Law Code, there seems to be a shift to patrilineal surnames and bilateral descent, although the emphasis is still on the mother's side of the family. Inheritance of material items also seems to be moving to a bilateral model, although here, too, the emphasis is still through the matrilineage, especially for things considered traditional or esoteric. Band Membership is no longer of consequence and is preserved primarily through stories and few lexical items or shifts in pronunciation.
Kinship Terminology. There is an elaborate set of Kinship terms allowing one to distinguish between relatives through one's mother as distinct from those through one's Father; siblings and first cousins through the matrilineage are referred to by the same term, and other cousins are terminologically distinct. When speaking English, however, Eskimotype rules are used.