Kin Groups and Descent. Descent was bilateral with Social weight tending to favor patrilateral ties. Consanguineal and, perhaps, affinal kin were grouped in what have been referred to as kin congregations who worshiped their own tutelar deity at their group religious structure, referred to as a marae. Primogeniture was important in ranking within the kin congregation. While women were excluded from the marae of the large kin congregations, that was not always true for marae of smaller kin congregations.
Kinship Terminology. The term matahiapo was applied to firstborn as well as all representatives of a family stock descended in the line of the firstborn. Teina was used to distinguish younger brothers, sisters, and cousins who were not matahiapo; otherwise, the Hawaiian type of kinship terminology was used.