Kin Groups and Descent. The most basic social and economic unit of Páez society is the nuclear family. Families are related to one another through networks of exchange of labor and agricultural products, community political processes, and ritual. Members of each community have a limited number of surnames. Although some scholars have suggested that in the pre-Columbian era descent was patrilineal, among the contemporary Páez descent is bilateral, and this also appears to have been the case in colonial times. Exchange partners are recruited out of each individual's personal kindred.
Kinship Terminology. Although Páez kinship terminology displays many of the characteristics of the Dravidian systems found in the Colombian northwestern Amazon, there is no indication that it was ever accompanied by bilateral cross-cousin marriage.