Social Organization. Hierarchical structures are very important in mythical thought and in the daily appreciation of social and natural phenomena. Esoteric knowledge carries great prestige. Earthly possessions are of no importance, the Kogi value system being antimaterialistic and, at the same time, exalting the moral and ethical qualities of their religious and intellectual elite. The entire sociopolitical orientation is based upon their concepts of occupying the "center" of the world, of being the "elder brothers" of all humankind, and of leading an exemplary life. These cultural truths are constantly being extolled as the leading principles of Kogi society, family life, and individual behavior.
Political Organization. Remnants of the Spanish colonial cabildo (village council) system are combined with the authority of native priests. Civil and religious authority have been closely linked since early colonial times and, possibly, before that. Some priestly lineages claim to be the overlords of certain regions and are respected as such. Most family and village affairs are taken before the local comisario or priest, but some cases are taken before the Colombian authorities in one of the neighboring lowland towns.
Social Control. Kogi society condemns all manifestations of aggressiveness: murder, arson, rape, and vandalism are almost unknown. Petty thefts do occur and drunken fistfights are fairly frequent. The Kogi are a quarrelsome people; they like to indulge in long-winded discussions of personal or community misgivings. A major control system is provided by the native institution of public confession, which covers a wide range of offenses mainly relating to sexual matters or interpersonal hostilities. Punishments consist of beatings, short-term hard-labor tasks, or religious penitence. The main threat for misbehavior is supernatural punishment by illness.
Conflict. Kogi traditions speak of many conflict situations in the past, some of them going back to the Spanish Conquest, whereas others refer to past intertribal warfare. There has been no tribal revolt against established authority since 1600, and the Kogi pride themselves on their peaceable attitudes in the face of outside pressures or occasional interpersonal tensions. Local nativistic movements, mainly in the 1940s, were of little consequence, and, at present, sporadic revivalistic movements have only a few followers. The concepts of opposition and alliance constitute recurrent themes in Kogi cosmology, myth, and philosophy; however, in spite of apparent dualistic classifications and categories, the concept of "balance" is predominant.