Kin Groups and Descent. The predominant Hindu pattern of patrilineal, patrivirilocal kinship in descent, Inheritance, succession, and residence is the norm among the Vellala. Exceptions are the Nangudi Vellala and Kottai Pillaimar, who have matrilineal descent, patri-matrilineal Inheritance, and uxorilocal residence. Exogamous units called gotram, membership in which is traced from a common ancestor or place, are found in some subcastes of the first category. In other subcastes, the unit is called kilai. Members may be scattered over several villages. The local branch of the exogamous unit acts as a corporate entity for certain Economic and ceremonial functions.
Kinship Terminology. Kin terms follow the Dravidian system.