The Kamba were originally grouped into some 25 dispersed patrilineal clans (utui) of varying size, which
were often mutually hostile. Their social and territorial boundaries were flexible, and the system seems
more to have been a response to fluid geographical groupings rather than strictly determined by
ancestry or tradition. There seem to have been few if any institutions of centralized political authority,
although in times of external threat, military action could be coordinated across the whole tribe.