Wilp (Houses)

Nisga'a Society is organized around relationships through sim'oogit and sigidim-nak', men and women. 
We belong to the groups of our mothers and it is through these relationships that we had rights of land ownership and resource use. 

Men and women who have the same female ancestors belong to the same group.  The basic group in our society is the wilp, of House.  The wilp owns territory; it also owns the titles which its members have songs, dances, stories and crests - which is how the Wilp is represented. Sometimes a House becomes too large for a single chief to manage, and is divided into two or three smaller Houses, each named after the highest ranking chief in that House.  These related Houses are called wilnaat'ahl (those of the same kind).

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