A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship and descent. Even if lineage details are unknown, clan members may be organized around a founding member or apical ancestor. The kinship-based bonds may be symbolical, whereby the clan shares a "stipulated" common ancestor that is a symbol of the clan's unity. When this ancestor is not human, it is referred to as an animalian totem. Clans can be most easily described as tribes or sub-groups of tribes. The word clan is derived from 'clann' meaning 'family' in the Irish and Scottish Gaelic languages. The word was taken into English about 1425 as a label for the tribal nature of Irish and Scottish Gaelic society. The Gaelic term for clan is fine . Clans preceded more centralized forms of community organization and government; they are located in every country. Members may identify with a coat of arms or other symbol to show they are an independent clan.