Peoples and Ethnic Groups – Tribal Societies: Organization
In many societies the tribe (or clan) usually forms the basis for political stability and for the promotion of political interests. The tribe is tied through mutual bonds of loyalty and can often function as a corporation in situations of war, as well as in peaceful negotiations over marriage, payments or trade. In this kind of society marriage does not take place between single 'autonomous' individuals, but between groups. Marriage creates alliances outside the family (the lineage), and the tribe / clan.
Within the tribe there is one recognized leader, usually the oldest man of the family at each level, and the tribe as a whole has a chief at a higher level. Monarchies are a form of clan lineage, though not always with a patriarchal (male) leader.