Kin Groups and Descent. Historically, the nuclear family of parents and children was seldom an isolated and self-sufficient unit. Rather, camps of about twenty-five Individuals, usually several related nuclear families, proved to be necessary for protection against raids, for communal hunts, and for efficient gathering of wild plant resources. While the camp was the primary land-use unit during the historic period, Several camps utilizing adjacent territories were grouped into patrilineal bands, headed by the most respected of the leaders of the individual camps. Eligibility for camp leadership, and thus for the headship of the bands, was transmitted patrilineally, but potential leaders won respect more for their bravery, wisdom, and oratorical abilities than for strict genealogical descent.
Kinship Terminology. Under reservation life, the Yumantype kinship terminology of the Walapai does not appear to have retained its salience.