People can become clan members by birth or join a clan by adoption. Clans can be patrilineal, matrilineal, or mixed:
Patrilineal: In a patrilineal clan, a person belongs to their father’s clan.
Matrilineal: In a matrilineal clan, a person belongs to their mother’s clan.
Mixed: In a mixed descent system, a person belongs to their higher status parent’s clan.
The mixed descent system is most common among the Sartarites; however, all systems can be found among the Orlanthi. All adult members of a clan are marked with distinctive tattoos that identify them as members of that clan.