Kin Groups and Descent. The term yam is applied to all social groups, irrespective of whether these groups are based on recognized genealogical relationships or not. When qualified by the name of a senior male, the term designates a Nuclear or extended family. When qualified by the name of a place, it designates a coresidential or local group or a group of people who believe themselves to be derived from a particular locale. Despite an ideology of patrilineal descent, group affiliation is flexible. Fulfillment of the obligations of kinship is frequently of greater importance than actual genealogical relatedness in establishing and maintaining kinship.
Kinship Terminology. Kinship terminology is basically of the Iroquois type, with generational skewing of both the Paternal and maternal same-sex senior sibling.