Navajo people use this word to refer to your first clan, specifically, and then to the rest of your clans more generally.
The Navajo clan system is another level in identifying one’s self to new people. Everyone has four clans: the first is inherited from the mother, the second is inherited from the father, the third is from the mother’s father, and then the fourth is from the father’s father.
If you share clans with another person, then that means you are more than likely related – or at least you are considered to be family in the Navajo way. Therefore, you should always ask for another’s clans to make sure you aren’t closely related before you make any move to get with them 😉 … Not that that’s the only use for clans!
The clan system has been amazingly effective in fostering a sense of familial belonging and friendliness among Navajo people. Shared clans are great for meeting new relatives and creating new relationships no matter where you travel.