Kin Groups and Descent. Saramaka society is firmly based on matrilineal principles. A clan ( lo )—often several thousand individuals—consists of the matrilineal deseendants of an original band of escaped slaves. It is subdivided into lineages ( beè )—usually 50 to 150 people—descended from a more recent ancestress. Several lineages from a single clan constitute the core of every village.
Kinship Terminology. In keeping with matrilineal ideology, a strongly generational pattern is broken by bifurcate merging of males. Joking relationships prevail between consanguineal and affinal kin of alternate generations.