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.
For their source of protein, they hunted large game animals such as deer, elk, black bears, and mountain sheep. In addition, they caught small animals like squirrels, raccoons, birds, rabbits, and a great amount of fish. The Maidu captured them with traps, nets, arrows, and snares.
Summary and Definition: The Maidu tribe were a California tribe of Native American Indians who were hunter-gatherers and fishers. The Maidu tribe inhabited the Sierra Nevada and the adjacent valleys of northern California.
The Maidu are a Native American people of northern California. They reside in the central Sierra Nevada, in the watershed area of the Feather and American rivers.
They especially prized bear hides, and made them into robes to be worn during important ceremonies. The Maidu hunted deer by driving them over cliffs. They also ate grasshoppers, crickets and locusts. Coyotes were never eaten as they were considered to be “virtually poisonous”.
The Maidus were hunter-gatherers. Maidu men hunted for deer and small game, and fished in the rivers. Maidu women gathered acorns and ground them into meal to make bread and soups, as well as collecting berries, nuts, and other plants. Here is a website with more information about Native American cooking.
Since the Maidu lived in the mountains, they depended more on animals like deer for their food. They were good hunters. Sometimes a man hunted alone, and sometimes with a group of men. They had hunting dogs to help in the hunt.
Maidu singers generally use a relaxed and nonpulsating vocal technique. And, compared with Native American songs from other musical areas, they sing large amounts of music with an unchanging beat and with a simple rhythmic organization. The music also has characteristic sequences and syncopations.
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.
Definition of Maidu 1a: an Indian people of the Feather and American river valleys of California. b: a member of such people. 2: a Pujunan language of the Maidu people.
The Konkow Maidu slaver massacre refers to an incident in 1847 when several settlers killed 12 to 20 Konkow Maidu in a slave raid near present-day Chico, California.
Konkow Maidu leader Patsy Seek shows one of the traditional huts she’s built out of tree bark along the Feather River in Oroville.
Commerce trails were numerous in Maidu country and items of trade flowed freely over them. From the valley beads reached the mountains along with salmon, salt, and nuts of the digger pine. In turn, the mountaineers traded bows and arrows, deerskins and sugar pine nuts, as well as acorns.
The Maidu built permanent winter homes and summer shade dwellings. Winter homes, which were partly underground, were built in the spring when the ground was soft enough to dig to a depth of 2 to 4 feet (1 meter). They were small cone-shaped dwellings of cedar bark covered with earth to keep them well insulated.
The Greenville Rancheria of Maidu Indians of California is a federally recognized tribe of Maidu people in Plumas and Tehama Counties, California.