Traditionally, several title-names were used across regional groups for the hereditary leaders of lineages. These titles include Tomiear/Tomiar, Chari, Mu, Nu, Nuguit, Cunu, Genu, and more. These titles are synonymous with the Spanish title Captain, which was used in the Spanish and Mexican periods.
All adults, persons past the age of puberty, were under the authority of the lineage headman and group leaders. Lineage leaders resolved disputes within each lineage. Disputes between lineages were resolved by discussion between the leaders of the two lineages. If two lineages could not resolve a dispute, then a third lineage leader, from a third lineage, was called to resolve the issue. His decision was final. Within each lineage, the decision of the lineage leader was final and there was no higher appeal. The community and group leaders made rules for the lineage as they thought were necessary.
Each tribelet/lineage retained collective land where other lineages recognized their rights to first harvest of hunting or plant life, and well as resources such as water. The members of a lineage groups worked cooperatively and pooled the fruits of their labor for collective distribution.
In addition to the captain/lineage leader were family spokespersons within the lineage who would communicate directly with the lineage leader on behalf of their family. Lineage leaders or spokespersons did not have executive powers, but rather maintained influence through persuasion and counsel supported by their standing in the community.