Kin Groups and Descent. The population of Easter Island was divided into ten subtribes or clans ( mata ), each of which evidently occupied a distinct territory in precontact times. By historic times, subtribe members were more widely dispersed as a result of exogamous marriage, adoption, and capture during war. The ten clans formed two larger divisions, with one controlling the western half and the other the eastern half of the island.
Kinship Terminology. Traditional kin term usage followed the Hawaiian system, which has been modified over time to reflect changes in family organization.