Kin Groups and Descent. Chorote society was formerly divided into bilateral, exogamous bands, consisting of a small number of extended families. Members of each band considered themselves to be related, although kinship links appear to have been more created than real in the sense of being genealogically traceable. The essential functions of each band were regulating marriage, maintaining autonomy, and exercising some control over interpersonal conflicts or those between extended families. The latter could generate fissioning processes within bands. Intensified contact with White society and settlement in missions and colonies produced the fusion of different bands in the same village. In the few surviving villages with a circular plan, two factions that are distributed relatively symmetrically coexist, and the members of each tend to marry those of the opposite faction. It is not clear whether this is a survival of an ancient dual organization or, what is more probable, a recent convergence toward dual principles because of a social and dialectal convergance of riverine and forest groups.
Kinship Terminology. Chorote kinship terminology, which is of the Hawaiian type, is characterized by its range of classificatory principles.