Social Organization. Balkar society was traditionally divided into a "white bone" ( aq syuek ) and a "black bone" ( qara syuek). The aristocratic class consisted of basiyat (elders) and the tuabiy (mountain prince). The uzden (free peasant) class was the most numerous. The dependent class was divided into freed slaves and domestic slaves. Even now social memory preserves in a residual form awareness of the former social ranks, especially in regard to marriage arrangements.
Political Organization. The elders held the powers of government, which in earlier times were confirmed at a public assembly and later were designated by central authorities.