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Research On The Maidu Indian Tribe To Better Understand Their Creation Stories And The Role These Myths Played In Their Society.

795 words - 3 pages

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 chest and arms. Maidu homes were also rather simple. The visible part of a Maidu house resembled a low angle cone. The dwelling was partially underground, the frame consisted of un-hewn timbers, and the roof was covered with grass, brush, and earth. Maidu society was organized in tribes, each tribe composed of numerous villages, ranging from just two to more than twenty. There would usually be one main village, a sort of capitol, where all the ceremonial and religious buildings were located. Some villages had populations of several hundred while others were made up of just one or two families. The villages did not...

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