There is little or no individual life within the pueblos. Work, play, and religious rites are group activities prompted by communal needs and aspirations. At designated times the crops are planted and harvested by working parties. Houses, fences, and irrigation ditches are built by a man and his immediate family, and all who constitute his blood relations may be called upon to work together. Games are played by individuals and between tribal units which also participate in religious ceremonies. These ceremonies are directed in a stipulated pattern by various groups of men who have inherited or gained the positions of leadership. In the daily and yearly routine "they have hardly left space for an impromptu individual act in their closely knit religious program. If they come across such an act they label the perpetrator a witch." Ruth Bunzel, speaking of Zuñi, says: "The supernatural, conceived always as a collectivity, a multiple manifestation of the divine essence, is approached by the collective forces of the people in a series of great public and esoteric rituals."
The groups with which an individual may be associated are determined by birth, adoption, marriage, or election. The matrilineal exogamous clan system of the Hopi-Zuñi divides the villages into a series of named groups to one of which a child belongs from birth. This means that a child inherits its clan membership from its mother and must marry outside that clan. The clans establish the family line of descent in respect to certain official capacities in connection with other groups or cults. There are also strong clan systems in Acoma, Laguna, among the Rio Grande Keres, and even at Jemez. Farther east, among the Tewa, they become more and more feeble until finally, with the Tigua of Picuris and Taos, there are no clans at all. Strangely enough, Isleta has a pseudo clan division, following
the east. Conversely, there appears the moiety, a more or less patrilineal division of the town into two parts, with a tendency toward endogamy (marriage within the group) fully developed among the Tewa.
"This division of the pueblo into two parts, or moieties, has usually been described in connection with social organization. It is true that it looms as large in the consciousness of the western pueblos, but it has no relation to the social organization ... and ... is evidently a ceremonial device associated with the kiva and with rain and fertility functions."
"In the west the women own the houses, in the northeast the men, a mixed system of ownership prevailing in the towns between. In the west there are an efflorescent mask cult and an elaborate service of prayer-sticks or prayer-feather offerings, which diminish steadily to the east and north."