The families are grouped in townships or otherwise (qali) under the lesser chiefs, who again owe allegiance to the supreme chief of the matanitu or tribe.
There were well-defined degrees of dependence among the different tribes or districts: the first of these, bati, is an alliance between two nearly equal tribes, but implying a sort of inferiority on one side, acknowledged by military service; the second, qali, implies greater subjection, and payment of tribute.
Thus A, being bati to B, might hold C in qali, in which case C was also reckoned subject to B, or might be protected by B for political purposes.
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