Kin Groups and Descent. In hunting and gathering times the Aranda were organized into nomadic bands of bilateral kindred. The size and composition of these bands fluctuated greatly over time. Today, small settlements are organized along similar lines and mobility is very high. Larger settlements tend to be organized as neighborhoods, again reflecting the importance of extended family structures. In certain respects, descent is cognatic; in others it is ambilineal, but with a patrilineal bias. People regard themselves as part of a single, territorially based, cognatic group, descended from one or more common ancestors, but for certain purposes they also recognize separate lines of inheritance through males and females, often affording a kind of priority to agnation.
Kinship Terminology. The Aranda have given their own name to a kinship type in which marriage is enjoined with a classificatory mother's mother's brother's daughter's daughter. At the time of contact some Aranda groups employed a subsection system (with eight marriage classes), while most employed a section or Kariera system (with only four classes). Today the subsection is used by the majority of Aranda groups. Moieties are recognized but not named.