In Etyolo, residence relates to two different concepts: that of village; and that of neighborhood. Each of these has somewhat different consequences for behavior patterns. The village to which one belongs, for example, will influence patterns of ritual activity, marriage, and socialization, and one's allegiance to a particular chief. Ritual activities associated with the age-grade system are performed by groups of linked villages. The village provides an important venue for the socialization of children in Bassari society. In 1971, all arrivals to the village had obtained land in this way, either from their ayiw or from another close member of their matrilineage. Sex combined with age forms the basis of the age-grade system, the central village institution and the most important single structuring arrangement in Bassari society. The centrality of age-grades in village life can be understood by examining three aspects of the system in more detail: its structure; its main activities; and its ideology.