The moiety system is a more unusual form of unilineal descent and involves the occurrence of descent groups in linked pairs which assume complementary positions and functions. Each moiety (or half) of a pair will almost always be exogamous and take its husbands and wives exclusively from the matched group. Thus the Dani clans are grouped into larger patrimoieties, Wida and Waija that run through the whole of Dani society. Wida men are forbidden to marry women from their moiety and must take wives from Waija and visa versa. The Yanomamo also have a moiety system. In their case, the participating units are small localized patrilineages which settle in small villages along with members of a matched moiety. Marriages are usually arranged with members of the opposite moiety within the settlement.

Intermarrying Yanomamo Moieties

yanomamo moieties
Men of moiety A marry women of moiety B and vise versa.
Note: marriage is indicated by a horizontal line connecting husband and wife from below.
Coloured diagonal lines represent descent.