Maidu – A People 2018-04-19T13:20:36+00:00

Maidu – A People

The Maidu are a native people from North America. They are from northern California and Nevada.

Maidu Languages - Wikipedia

Maidu Languages – Wikipedia

Maidu are split into three groups based on their languages. The three main groups are Maidu, Nisenan, and Konkow.

Each Maidu group lived in their own areas along the Sacramento River. The Nisenan were the largest of the three groups.

Maidu Life Prior to the 19th Century

The Maidu lived in villages as hunter-gatherers.

The three Maidu groups lived in different areas around the Sacramento River. The Maidu lived in the northeastern mountains. The Konkow lived in the northwestern foothills. The Nisenan lived in the southern valleys.

Maidu Hut Recreation - Maidu Interpretive Center

Maidu Hut Recreation – Maidu Interpretive Center

The Maidu clustered their villages together. The center and largest village was where the leader or headman lived.

The Maidu built a variety of homes. The type of home they built would change by the season. In the valleys, Nisenan built earth-covered domes during the winter and brush covered homes in the summer.

The Maidu groups living in the mountains stayed close to their villages in the winter. They stopped traveling to hunt and trade with other groups.

The Western Frontier and The Settlers Effects on the Maidu

The Maidu were able to avoid encounters with settlers until the early 1800s. In 1831, the Maidu faced a disease outbreak. It may have been from Malaria. This caused the deaths of many of their people.

Mt Shasta and the Sacramento River - Frederick A Butman

Mt Shasta and the Sacramento River – Frederick A Butman

In the 1840s, gold was discovered in California. This started the gold rush. Many settlers came from the East. These settlers stole most of the Maidu land. Without their lands, the Maidu people struggled to live as hunter-gatherers.

The Maidu suffered disease outbreaks, violence, and mass murder. Those who survived were sent to work on farms, on ranches, and to live on reservations.

The settlers sent Maidu children to schools. There, they were taught to let go of their Maidu culture and become more like the settlers.

Maidu Today

Today, the Maidu people live in and around reservations. They remain in the Northern California area.

Sources & Resources

Maidu – California Indians

Maidu Tribe: Facts, Clothes, Food and History – War Paths to Peace Pipes

Maidu – Wikipedia

Maidu people – Britannica.com

Books & Journal Articles

Author: Abigail L. – 5 Feb 2018