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Maidu Indians

Maidu. A native term meaning “person.” Also called:

Maidu Connections. Formerly considered an independent stock, the Maidu have now been placed in the Penutian linguistic family.

Maidu Location. In the drainage areas of the Feather and American Rivers.

Maidu Subdivisions and Villages

The Maidu are divided, mainly on dialectic grounds, into the Nishinam or Southern Maidu (holding the whole of the American drainage plus that of the Bear and Yuba Rivers), the Northeastern Maidu (on the upper reaches of the North and Middle Forks of Feather River), and the Northwestern Maidu (below the high Sierra, part in the foothills where the South, Middle, North, and West Branches of Feather River converge, and on upper Butte and Chico Creeks and part in the open Sacramento Valley along the lower courses of the same streams).

Helto, Toto, Honkut, and Tomcha should perhaps be included in the last division instead of among the Nishinam.
Inhabited sites not included among the above were Hoktem, Kiski, Kphes, Natoma, Tankum, Tsamak, Wesnak, and Wili.

The following list of Northwestern Maidu “districts” or “tribelets” was given to Dr. Kroeber by a Wintun half-breed, who had spent most of his life associated with the Chico Maidii:

Dr. Kroeber (1925) attempts to reconstruct the names of the Nishinam or Southern Maidu tribelets as follows: Following downstream: Yupu (at mouth of Yuba into Feather River), Kochuk or (and) Yokol-Liman-Hokok, Wolok or Ola (at efflux of Feather into Sacramento), Leuchi, Wijuna, Totola or Nawean, Pujune (on American River just above its mouth), Sek or Sekumne, Kadeina and perhaps others up American River, Sama (below Sacramento city). This is incomplete.

Maidu Population. Kroeber (1925) estimates that 9,000 Maidu about the year 1770 would be a liberal estimate; the census of 1910 returned 1,100, and that of 1930 only 93.