Kin Groups and Descent. Kapauku reckon descent along both maternal and paternal lines, but villages are patrilineal and exogamous, with postmarital residence generally patrilocal. The most important Kapauku kinship group is the sib, a named, ideally exogamous, totemic, patrilineal group whose members share a belief in a common apical ancestor. Two or more sibs group into loosely united phratries that have Common totemic taboos but are not exogamous. Many of the sibs are further split into moieties. Kinship ties with other lineages (through affines) give rise to larger, political amalgamations known as "confederations."
Kinship Terminology. Kapauku kinship terminology is of the Iroquois type, but it diverges in the way in which parallel and cross cousins are differentiated: the sex of the nearest and the most distant link connecting the individual to his or her cousin determines cross- or parallel-cousin status. Kapauku kinship terms differentiate among paternal and maternal relatives, affinal and consanguineal relatives, and generationally.