The Metis reflected the kinship practices of their cultural antecedents insofar as existing circumstances made this behavior possible. Free men leaving the fur trade frequently maintained social relations with former workmates living either in the posts or as free men. Marriages among their children were instrumental in defining socially les gens libres and succeeding generations of Metis. The kin ties of the country wives of the free men were instrumental in establishing a relationship of tolerance and, in numerous instances, support from neighboring Indian bands. In their behavior, free men acted in a manner that preserved the kin ties of their wives and children with the bands. Both European and Indian practices influenced Metis behavior, but the exigencies of local circumstances dictated practice.