Research on the Maidu Indian Tribe to better understand their creation stories and the role these myths played in their society.

Essay by lexiepgJunior High, 8th grade November 2003

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1.The name Maidu simply means "the people" in their native language of Penutian. The Maidu lived in California, along various streams and tributaries in the Sacramento Valley and the surrounding foothills. Some were based by the Feather River, in the area that is now known as Butte County, others by the rushing waters of Nevada County yet others in the eastern drainage area of the Sacramento River, near Chico and Mount Lassen. However, the Maidu were migratory, frequently wandering further north or south in search of food.

2. As the Maidu were hunters and gatherers, much of their energy went into the quest for food. As with most Native Californians, the acorn was a staple of their diet. It took a great deal of time to prepare the approximately 2,000 pounds of acorns the average adult ate in a year. Besides acorns, the Maidu used everything nature had to offer as a source of food.

Fish, game, seeds, insects, nuts, berries and grasses all had places in their diet. Deer were also eaten with great pleasure whenever hunters had a successful day. A few animals on the other hand were not eaten, primarily for spiritual reasons, such as the grizzly bear, the coyote and the owl. The Maidu were not farmers because they had no need to farm - the valley and foothills provided all the food and shelter necessary to meet their needs.

3. The Maidu lived very much at one with nature, and weren't very developed or civilized in their daily lives. Men, children and elderly women traditionally wore no clothing whatsoever. Young women would wear a mere apron of bark. They were all, however, ornamented with tattoos - for women, lines were drawn on the chin and across the chest, and for men, dots adorned their...