Kin Groups and Descent. All Mae are members of segmentary agnatic descent structures, within which residential and cultivation rights to land are successively divided. The largest agnatic descent group, with as many as 6,000 Members, is the eponymously named and nonexogamous phratry, each of which comprises a cluster of contiguous clans (average about eight, range four to twenty) whose eponymous founders are thought to be sons of the phratry founder. The mean size of the exogamous and localized patricians is about 400 members, with a range from about 100 to 1,500. A clan contains from two to eight named subclans generated by the putative sons of the clan founder. The subclan in turn is Divided into from two to four named patrilineages established by sons of the subclan founder. Patrilineages contain twenty or more elementary (monogamous) and composite (polygynous) families whose heads are usually held to be greatgrandsons of the lineage founder.
Kinship Terminology. The Iroquois bifurcate-merging system of kin terms, which the Mae system resembles, distinguishes generation levels but not seniority within generations. Mae also recognize terminologically four wider categories of kin: agnates, other patrilateral cognates, matrilateral cognates, and affines.