Kin Groups and Descent. Kroeber thought that patrilineal kin groups existed among the Yurok, but were undesignated and unrecognized by them. Kinspeople were spread through Yurok towns and never organized as circumscribed groups such as clans or tribes. Bilateral kinship must have also been present, so that, in Kroeber's words, "a definite unit of kinsmen acting as a group capable of constituted social action did not exist." Descent groups were traced according to the name of its house site in a particular town, and by the late 1960s, Yurok descent groups were labeled as "families." A "house group," as precontact Yurok descent entities might be called, owned rights to certain land, houses, and ceremonial regalia.
Kinship Terminology. Murdock has suggested that the Yurok are one of several California groups with Hawaiian-type kinship systems.