Kin Groups and Descent. Kin ties linking a large number of Futunans into overlapping social entities center on brothers and sisters. The oldest sister has certain privileges within the family group. There is a strong protective relationship Between brothers and their sisters as well as avoidance regarding certain issues with sexual implications. The privileged relationship to a father's sister ( vasu ) that allows the younger person to take food from her is restricted to royal lineages. Kin groups are the basis for working parties, such as for fishing, thatching, or making a canoe. Descent is reckoned through both mothers and fathers, mainly for inheritance of land rights or to trace a relationship to a chiefly family. "Family" to a Futunan means a bilaterally extended family, consisting of a wide-ranging group of people living both on Futuna and on Wallis, as well as in New Caledonia. Relatives are recognized even though contact may not have been sustained for several years.
Kinship Terminology. Kinship terminology is of the Hawaiian type where the terms for mother, father, brother, sister, and grandparents are extended to collaterals. Sibling terms are determined by the sex of the speaker.