In the past, the patrilineal clan was an important form of sociopolitical organization; it was preserved through the Qing dynasty. In the early seventeenth century, the outstanding leader Nurhachi welded all the Nuzhen tribes into the Eight Banners. Each banner was divided into basic units called niulu, which functioned as the primary unit of political, military, and economic organization. Each niulu held about 300 people. In the early Qing dynasty, around 1633, the Manchu rulers began to incorporate Mongols and other tribal groups, as well as Han, into the Eight Banner system. The banner system dissolved in the twentieth century. At present, the area is organized on the basis of counties, townships, and villages.