Kinship Groups and Descent. Few details are known of kinship and family relations in aboriginal times. There were matrilineal clans, segmented into lineages. Clans were ranked, as were lineages within them. Certain lines of descent within at least two or three clans were considered noble, the others commoner. Whether kin groups were assigned Common rights to resources or owned common property is unclear, although such rights were commonplace in neighboring islands. Clans, lineages, and matrilineal descent itself are now only memories on the island. Modern Kosraens trace their Relationships bilaterally, and the kin group is the operative unit. Members of an individual's kindred are called upon for occasional communal labor and to make contributions at Weddings and funerals.
Kinship Terminology. A modified Hawaiian terminology was used in precontact times. Modern Kosraens continue to use generational terminology in many contexts, but the English word cousin has been added to use when one wishes to distinguish degrees of relatedness within one's own generation.