1. Family and Marriage: The first-child succession system is used by the Paiwan and Vuculj subgroup. Also called the uni-locality system, it means that the first child of a family, either a girl or a boy, will inherit the family property and affairs. In a marriage, a bride or a groom who is not the first child of the family will live with the other party. If both the bride and the groom are not the first children, they will leave their original families and establish a new family. If both the bride and the groom are the successors, they will stay in their respective homes and handle the affairs of both families. Their first child will inherit the family property and affairs of both families. The Paiwan marriage system is also a criterion to define social status. If a commoner marries the child of a noble or the chief and becomes a member of the noble or chief’s family, his/her social status will rise along with the social status of their children. The Ravav subgroup also adopts the first-son succession system.
2. Tribe and Chief: A Paiwan chief is succeeded by the first child of the family. A chief has superior social status, more property, and more power. He/she owns the land, the river, and hunting sites of the tribe. The chief takes care of every person in the tribe, including nobles, shamans, officials, and commoners, while receiving part of their yields.
3. Social Hierarchy: Social classes in a Paiwan society can be divided into the chief, nobles, shamans and priests, officials, and commoners. Each social class enjoys different rights. The chief and the nobles have higher social status. They are permitted to tattoo human head and hundred-pacer viper patterns on their bodies, have more land resources, and claim land and forest taxes from the tribe. In addition to spacious houses, only the chief and nobles are allowed to have carved decorations in their family houses. The officials rank between the nobles and the commoners. Compared to commoners, officials have some extra privileges, such as tax exemption and the use of specific names. The commoners can win the favor of the chief and the tribe by way of individual achievements.