As with other tribes of California Indians, the Maidu ate seeds and acorns and hunted elk, deer, bears, rabbits, ducks, and geese; they also fished for salmon, lamprey eel, and other river life.
The Maidus lived in earthen houses. Usually these houses were made from a cone-shaped frame of wooden poles placed over a basement-like hole dug into the ground. Then the frame would be covered with bark and packed with a mound of earth to keep it well insulated.
Maidu /ˈmaɪduː/, also Northeastern Maidu or Mountain Maidu, is an extinct Maiduan language spoken by Maidu peoples traditionally in the mountains east and south of Lassen Peak in the American River and Feather River river drainages.
The Maidu are an American Indian people of northern California. They reside in the central Sierra Nevada, in the watershed area of the Feather and American rivers. They also reside in Humbug Valley. In Maiduan languages, Maidu means “man.”
The Maidu traded things of all sorts and really beautiful things too. They traded for things like beads, salmon, salt, special stones, pine nuts berries, and fur with the Mountain people they got back bows and arrows, deer skin, and deer hides. Everyone traded wild tobacco.
The Miwok people were decimated by the diseases brought by the invaders and subjected to atrocities. Following the short-lived Mariposa Indian War (1850) those who survived were forced on to various reservations.
Digger Indians is a somewhat derogatory general term applied to several tribes or groups of Native Americans who lived in the Great Basin area of the United States. The term has occasionally been applied to members or groups of other tribes who dug roots for subsistence.
Tribes included the Karok, Maidu, Cahuilleno, Mojave, Yokuts, Pomo, Paiute, and Modoc. On the other hand, the mountains that divided the groups made extensive warfare impractical, and the California tribes and clans enjoyed a comparatively peaceful life.
Maidu women and girls used milling stones, which were larger than hammer stones, to pound the acorns into meal. They also used a wooden or stone stick, called a pestle, and a rounded stone or wooden object, called a mortar, to make the acorn flour. Pounding acorns was hard work and these tools made it a little easier.
They lived in semisubterranean pole- and earth-covered lodges and produced watertight basketry ornamented with beads or feathers. The interior Miwok —those of the Sierra and Plains—resided in the foothills and lowlands and generally moved into the high sierras only for summer hunting.
The Nisenan are a group of Native Americans and an Indigenous people of California from the Yuba River, Bear River and American River watersheds in Northern California and the California Central Valley.
According to this map, Nisenan (pronounced nish-n-non by Tribal Chairman Richard Johnson) land included part of Yuba and most of Nevada, Placer and El Dorado Counties, which stretch west from Lake Tahoe at the bend in California’s eastern boundary. Just north is Maidu homeland.