‘Ceok’ (clan/tribe) in Altai means ‘bone’
Ceok is the word used to mean kin, clan or family. The Altai people attribute themselves to a Ceok. When they introduce themselves they normally ask each other what clan they represent. People from different clans tend to have certain characteristics in common. Ceok names date back to the Hunnish and ancient Turkic periods and represent the most ancient phase of the origin of the ethnic group from which the current Altai people descend. There are over thirty ceok in Southern Altai alone, but the largest in number are the Maiman, Kipchak, Todosh, Tölös and Irkit clans.
Children inherit the clan of their father. A married woman retains her clan but worships the places and sacred natural objects associated with that of her husband. Belonging to one and the same ceok one would say ‘Bis Karindashtar’ which means ‘we are brothers \ sisters”.