Kin Groups and Descent. Kinship groups were based on ambilineal descent: a person could choose one or more lines of descent on his or her mother's or father's side of the family, or both. Descent was the basis for social as well as political rank, which was determined by birth order; the descent line of the first-born child was ranked highest, and the lowest rank went to the last-born in a family. Economic rights were also accorded to individuals based on their birth order.
Kinship Terminology. Nootka kinship terminology follows the Hawaiian system. Relative age was distinguished among individuals in one's generation as well as between older and younger siblings.