Kin Groups and Descent. The descent system is patrilineal, and linguistic cultural identity is determined by speaking the father's language. Yukuna marriage alliances are with the Tanimuka (Eastern Tukanoans) or Matapi peoples. The Yukuna are organized into two moieties: the Seniors live in the upper Miriti, whereas the Juniors live downriver. Each lineage and sib, as well as each group of siblings, is ranked hierarchically among Seniors and Juniors. Most marriage alliances must be among partners of similar rank. Minimal lineages live together in a maloca, but close kin tend to reside nearby. By Yukuna laws of primogeniture, only a Senior brother can build a maloca and be a maloca headman. As a corporate group, the headman and his followers reside in a maloca. The headman's brothers usually are the aggressive and defensive shamans, the singer/chanter, and other maloca specialists. On ritual occasions, medium or maximal lineages, as well as allied malocas, meet for ceremonial food exchange or to trade information, dance, and express solidarity. Male secret rituals consolidate male bonding among descent groups and allied maloca units.
Kinship Terminology. Kin terms are of the Dravidian type.