Konkow Valley Band of Maidu
1185 18th Street Oroville, CA 95965

Questions or Comments ?
contact our NAGPRA Coordinator,
Eric S Josephson

2012 Tribal Council

Patsy D. Seek, Tribal Chairwoman

Wallace Clark, Tribal Vice-Chairman

Myra Chauhan, Tribal Secretary

Margie Hartshorn, Tribal Treasurer

Jake Engasser, Tribal Council Member

Alvin "Bo" Gramps, Tribal Council Member

Ronald Gramps, Tribal Council Member



The State of California has had 230 of our ancestors in cardboard boxes
in a basement in Sacramento since 1967&68
and we want them back.

In April 2001
We submitted a claim for repatriationfor the human remains now known as ( BUT - 84)
to Pauline Grenbeaux Chair person,
Committee on Repatriation,
California Department of Parks and Recreation

Our Claim for repatriation was denied because "25 U.S.C. 651 California Indians, defined" are being falsely left off the BIA’s list of BIA acknowledged tribes. And no other reason.

California Department of Parks and Recreation Director, Ruth Coleman refuses to even ask for clarification as to why "25U.S.C.651 California Indians, defined" are being left off the list of BIA acknowledged tribes.

There are three ways to become Federally acknowledged.

1 - Litigation; Been there done that. California Indians V. United States decided July 31, 1959 Dockets 31 & 37 may be cited as:   8 Ind. Cl. Com. 1

2 - Application; This does not apply to 25 U.S.C.651 because we do receive health care pursuant to 25 U.S.C.1679 among other things that have been legislated in our behalf §83.3 Scope. (b) Indian tribes, organized bands, pueblos, Alaska Native villages, or communities which are already acknowledged as such and are receiving services from the Bureau of Indian Affairs may not be reviewed under the procedures established by these regulations.

3 - Legislation; No need, the legislature has already provided for us with, 25 U.S.C.651 California Indians defined. 25 U.S.C.652. Claims against United States for appropriated lands; submission to United States Court of Federal Claims; appeal; grounds for relief 25 U.S.C.648. Tax exemption. Any part of such funds that may be distributed to members of the tribe shall not be subject to Federal or State income tax.

25 U.S.C.656. Judgment amount deposited in Treasury to credit of Indians; interest rate; use of fund Title 25 > Chapter 18 > Subchapter VI > Section 1679 § 1679.

Eligibility of California Indians
The following California Indians shall be eligible for health services provided by the Service:

(1) Any member of a federally recognized Indian tribe.

(2) Any descendant of an Indian who was residing in California on June 1, 1852, but only if such descendant -
...... (A) is living in California,
...... (B) is a member of the Indian community served by a local program of the Service,
..... and (C) is regarded as an Indian by the community in which such descendant lives.

Our Shaman, Bryan A. Beavers entrusted the remains of our citizens to the archaeology team that, during the summer of 1966, Eric Ritter supervised excavations of Butte -84. And, during the summer of 1967, excavations were supervised by Ronald Gage of Sacramento State College. Eric Ritter proceeded to write a thesis entitled, Culture History of the Tie Wiah (4-But-84), Oroville Locality, California. Submitted in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree of Masters of the Arts in Anthropology in the Graduation Division of the University of California

The “Indians of California” “25 U.S.C.651 California Indians defined” should be on the List of tribes which are eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians.

The list published by the Secretary should be accurate, regularly updated, and regularly published since it is used by the various departments and agencies of the United States to determine the eligibility of certain groups to receive services from the United States; and the list of federally recognized tribes which the Secretary publishes should reflect all of the federally recognized Indian tribes in the United States which are eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians.

By not listing the Indians of California we are being denied rights otherwise granted to other Federally recognized tribes. Specifically, Repatriation.

- We receive health care through the Feather River Indian Health Clinic.
- Our children are protected under the Indian Child Welfare Act.

We are prosecutable as Indians under the Major Crimes Act, as we are recognized by the Federal Claims Court and the mentioned legislation and treaties and we take advantage of the Health Care provided by 25 U.S.C.1679. All requirements if one is to be prosecuted as “Indian”.

Congress relented and passed the Jurisdictional Act of 1928. This legislation allowed the Indians to sue the federal government and use the state Attorney General's office to represent them.

The efforts of California Indians to sue the federal government under the Jurisdictional Act of 1928 resulted in the creation of the Federal Indian Claims Commission in 1946. This federal body allowed Indian groups to press for compensation to tribes over the theft of their lands in the 19th century. By August of 1951, twenty-three separate petitions had been filed by attorneys on behalf of tribes in California. After 20 years of tortuous maneuvering all separate claims were consolidated into a single case.

The Indian Claims Commission found that the California Indians constitute an identifiable group of American Indians under the provisions of Section 2 of the Indian Claims Commission Act and were authorized to present the instant claim through its members, as was done here”.

Indeed, the Indian Claims Commission is not empowered to hear individuals' claims, but may only adjudicate claims held by an "Indian tribe, band, or other identifiable group." 25 U.S.C. §§ 70a, 70i; see Minnesota Chippewa Tribe v. United States, 161 Ct.Cl. 258, 270-271, 315 F.2d 906, 913914 (1963).

California Indians v. United States decided July 31, 1959 Dockets 31 & 37 may be cited as:   8 Ind. Cl. Com. 1 download PDF of Docket 31 & 37 Finding of Fact 1959

......" in Congressional Acts and the people of California generally by the appellation: "Indians of California." That said Indians constitute an identifiable group of American Indians under the provisions of Section 2 of the Indian Claims Commission Act and were authorized to present the instant claim through its members, as was done here".

Section 10 of  The Indian Claims Commission Act of August 13,1946.  reads as follows;

"Section. 10. Any Claim within the provisions of this Act may be presented to the Commission by any member of an Indian tribe, band, or other identifiable group of Indians as the representative of all its members; but wherever any tribal organization exists, recognized by the Secretary of the Interior as having authority to represent such tribe, band or group such organization shall be accorded the exclusive privilege of representing such Indians, unless fraud, collusion or laches on the part of such organization be shown to the satisfaction of the Commission."

Sec. 651. "Indians of California" defined For the purposes of this subchapter the Indians of California shall be defined to be all Indians who were residing in the State of California on June 1, 1852, and their descendants now living in said State.

Sec. 652. Claims against United States for appropriated lands; submission to United States Court of Federal Claims; appeal; grounds for relief

All claims of whatsoever nature the Indians of California as defined in section 651 of this title may have against the United States by reason of lands taken from them in the State of California by the United States without compensation, or for the failure or refusal of the United States to compensate them for their interest in lands in said State which the United States appropriated to its own purposes without the consent of said Indians, may be submitted to the United States Court of Federal Claims by the attorney general of the State of California acting for and on behalf of said Indians for determination of the equitable amount due said Indians from the United States; and jurisdiction is conferred upon the United States Court of Federal Claims,[1] to hear and determine all such equitable claims of said Indians against the United States and to render final decree thereon.
It is declared that the loss to the said Indians on account of their failure to secure the lands and compensation provided for in the eighteen unratified treaties is sufficient ground for equitable relief.
[1] So in original. The comma probably should not appear.

Sec. 648. Tax exemption Any part of such funds that may be distributed to members of the tribe shall not be subject to Federal or State income tax.

Sec. 656. Judgment amount deposited in Treasury to credit of Indians; interest rate; use of fund.
The amount of any judgment shall be placed in the Treasury of the United States to the credit of the Indians of California and shall draw interest at the rate of 4 per centum per annum and shall be thereafter subject to appropriation by Congress for educational, health, industrial, and other purposes for the benefit of said Indians, including the purchase of lands and building of homes, and no part of said judgment shall be paid out in per capita payments to said Indians: Provided, That the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized and directed to pay to the State of California, out of the proceeds of the judgment when appropriated, the amount decreed by the court to be due said State, as provided in section 655 of this title.

Title 25 > Chapter 18 > Subchapter VI > Section 1679 § 1679. Eligibility of California Indians
The following California Indians shall be eligible for health services provided by the Service:
(1) Any member of a federally recognized Indian tribe.
(2) Any descendant of an Indian who was residing in California on June 1, 1852, but only if such descendant -
..... (A) is living in California,
..... (B) is a member of the Indian community served by a local program of the Service,
..... and (C) is regarded as an Indian by the community in which such descendant lives.
(3) Any Indian who holds trust interests in public domain, national forest, or Indian reservation allotments in California.
(4) Any Indian in California who is listed on the plans for distribution of the assets of California rancherias and reservations under the Act of August 18, 1958 (72 Stat. 619),
and any descendant of such an Indian.

(c) Scope of eligibility Nothing in this section may be construed as expanding the eligibility of California Indians for health services provided by the Service beyond the scope of eligibility for such health services that applied on May 1, 1986.

It was our Shaman Bryan Beavers that oversaw the excavations and we deserve to get them back.

It is an act of governance that cannot be denied. ( CA Public Resource Code 5097.991 )

It is the policy of the state that Native American remains and associated grave artifacts shall be repatriated.

We now expect the State of California to honor the agreements that we agreed to and repatriate those remains.


Questions or Comments ?
contact our NAGPRA Coordinator,
Eric S Josephson

History of the

KonKow Valley Band

of Maidu


This is the story of our race, as brought forward and told to us in the stillness of the nights, around the camp fires, by the old men, the scholars and the priests of our tribe.

In the beginning Wahno-no-pem, the Great Spirit, made all things. Before he came, everything on the earth and in the skies was hidden in darkness and in gloom, but where he appeared he was the light. From his essence, out of his breath, he made the sun, the moon, and the countless stars, and pinned them in the blue vault of the heavens. And his spirit came down upon the earth, and there was day; he departed, and the darkness of night closed again upon the place where he had stood; he returned, and the light shone upon the ConCows and all the other living creatures upon the earth, in the waters, and the skies; the wild flowers bloomed in the valleys and on the mountain sides; the song of the birds was heard among the leaves of the madrone and on the boughs of the pines, and the hours of the day and of night were permanently established.

As the days and nights interchanged in the countless moons of the past, the ConCows and all the other people on the face of the earth became very wicked and bad, until, one day, the spirit of Wahno-no-pem, borne upon the beams of the rising sun, came through the pines and appeared unto some very wise old men, and said to them : The ConCows, my children, whom I have made out of my breath, shall not bow down and worship the mountains, the waters, the rocks, or the trees, or anything which I have made upon the earth, or in the waters, or in all the skies; but go to all my people and say that they shall bow down to me, and me alone; and all who do not believe in and worship me shall be devoured by the wild beasts and the demon birds of the forests, or destroyed by the great fire, Sahm

This said the Great Spirit to the teachers of our tribe, and then he passed away into Hepe-ning-koy, the blue land of the stars. But his words were not heard, and wickedness increased and went wild and rampant about the whole land, and Wahno-no-pem caused Yane-ka-num-ka-la, the White Spirit, to appear in the flesh unto the people, that he might enlighten and turn them from their evil ways; and this good man began his teachings and for many years he lived among our people, teaching the young men and the maidens many lessons of love and wisdom, many songs and games and gentle pastimes; and all these years they loved him more and more. But he died, and the lessons were forgotten; the songs died away in the forests, and in their stead came the war whoop, the shrieks of struggling women, and the groans of the wounded and the dying; and the name of Yane-ka-num-ka-la became a jibe and a mockery all over the land.

And as time went on, the Great Spirit sent two more good men, white spirits from the Yu-dic-na, the unreachable frozen regions at the end of the earth, to explain once more the teachings of wisdom and of love, and the worship of Wahno-no-pem; and to show us that we came from the Great Spirit, they made the streams issue forth from solid rock, the mountains dissolved into lakes , and into the waters of the sea; they healed the sick, and gave back the spirit of life to the dead, who, as they quickened into life again, bowed down for a time before the Great Spirit and worshiped him. But these good men accomplished no lasting good; wickedness went about roaring as fiercely as before; and they passed away, carried by the wind to their homes in the frozen seas, amid the floating ice mountains, and the golden auroras of the far off Yu-dic-na.

And Wahno-no-pem, after the good men had departed, became wrathful against his children, and sent a great drought upon the land; the gentle rain fell no more upon the earth, and it baked and cracked and yielded no more food. The sweet summer grasses and the white clover shrank away and became as wisps; the pine tree bore no more of its nutty cone; the brown balls of the buck eye and the red grape of the manzanita were no where to be found; and the flesh of the roebuck, the black bear, and the wild game in the woods was a frothy poison. And the people worked hard digging for the so-com-me, the sweet roots of the swamps, which had become as rocks, and when found they were moulded away or wasted into strings. Suffering and hunger were all over the land, and the old men, the young men, the women and the maidens cried in their anguish for the black spirit of death to come to their relief.

Then all those who had heard the teachings of the good men became conscience-stricken, and built the kaka-ne-comes, the sweat houses, and bowing down therein invoked the Great Spirit, praying for the mercy of Wahno-no-pem, and that the fruit of the evergreen and everbearing tree in the land of the stars, near the Great Spirit, may be showered down to them. But Wahno-no-pem had veiled his face in his anger and would not hear. He had said that he would send the great Sahm to destroy his bad children, and his word was the great law upon the Earth, in the waters, and in all the skies.

The good men had told the ConCows that the kaka-ne-comes were sacred, and that no woman or children were to go down into them---only the men who were feeding the holy fire were to bow down before it, with the wickedness in them purified by the fire. But one day when all the people were out on the plain, wringing their hands in their anguish and despair, and praying for relief in their suffering, two little boys went down into the kaka-ne-comes and threw some pitch pine sticks upon the fire; and the flames flew up to the roof and from there spread everywhere licking and destroying everything in their way, over fields and valleys, across the dry streams and the Mountains , scorching the dry and parched earth, burning the trees and melting the rocks, with the people fleeing in terror before them; but the flames were faster, and everything that was alive - the game and the wild beasts and even the birds in the forrest and all the ConCows but two - were destroyed. Pe-uch-ano, so named from his great sufferings , was a kindly, pious man, and he and Um-wa-na-ta, his mate, had always thanked the Great Spirit for his kindness to them, and he remembered them even in the great Sahm. The flames came roaring toward them like wild beasts, but they rolled away on every side as if pressed back by an invisible hand - the hand of Wahno-no-pem, the Great Spirit.

And these two good people ran and wandered for many moons, crying and nearly starving, until one day they halted near Ani-ka-to, which the white man calls the Trinity River. Wahno-no-pem had sent down the rains, the fire died out, the grasses were springing green again all over the land, the birds were singing everywhere, and the Ani-ka-to was full with the fish shining and swimming in its limped waters. In a sheltered nook upon its banks they made a little home, but they built a kaka-ne-comes first. As the moons waned and came again, little children grew around them as plentiful as the grains of sand near the great water; and one day, long, long after, Pe-uch-ano and Um-wa-na-ta having grown very old, gathered their children and grand children around them, and told them that the black spirit of death was coming for them fast, but that before they went with him they wanted to sleep in their old Wel-lu-da, where they had first seen the wild flowers blooming and heard the glad songs of the birds singing among the pines.

And the women, the young maidens, and the little children waded into Ani-ka-to, and made themselves pure by ablutions and knelt upon the banks; while the old men and the young men went down into the kaka-ne-comes and purified them selves with the holy fire, and they all prayed that Wahno-no-pem, the Great spirit, might lead them on their way to far off Wel-lu-da.

 With the next sun they started; the young men first to clear the way and frighten the wild beasts, and the women, the young maidens, and the little children, with Pe-uch-ano and Um-wa-na-ta in their midst, in the middle of a long line, with the old men bringing up the rear, For many days they journeyed thus over the mountains and across streams, always making the kaka-ne-comes first before they slept at night - until, one evening, they saw away off in the distance a green valley, with the sitting sun shining upon it. they halted, and Pe-uch-ano and Um-wa-na-ta were brought to the front. Shading their old eyes with their feeble hands, anxious and silent, they gazed long and trembling upon it, until one by one the tears chased each other down their old wrinkled faces, and falling upon their knees they looked upwards, and with clasped hands and sobbing voices, cried, " Wel-lu-da, Wel-lu-da, once more!" And the young men took up the glad cry, stronger and stronger, as it went: Wel-lu-da, Wel-lu-da, our home! and above it all, rising sweet and solemn above the grand old pines, the songs of praise of the young maidens to Wahno-no-pem, the Great Spirit, who had brought them safely through so many dangers to Wel-lu-da, the old home of their sires. And in the long, long years - as many as the stars above - around the campfires of the tribe at night the story was told by the old to the young; and I tell it to thee, white chief, as it came down to me

No, my brother, we did not believe that the coyote or the grizzly made us, before we heard of the great book of your people; its best lessons were already known to us. Thy white brothers have driven us from the old home of our tribe - Wel-lu-da - where the bones of my father and of my children are bleaching: do not let them take from us the traditions and the faith of our race; write my words as I have said them unto thee, and tell them that we believe alike in Wahno-no-pem, the Great Spirit, who made red man as well as the white, and who looks down upon us to night from Hepp-ning-ko, the blue land of stars.

Thus spoke to me, one clear night upon the old Nome-Cult, with one hand on my shoulder and the other pointing upward, Tome-ya-nem, the last Chief of his Tribe. The fire at our feet had died out, leaving only a few glowing embers, and the moon shone clear and cold upon the white and the red as they communed together in the stillness of the night. Long and silently I pondered upon his words, and long and silently he waited for an answer.

"Brother, the years that have passed over my head since I left my Wel-lu-da and are beginning to leave the gray threads in my hair, and like yours, my heart has known many sorrows, for I, too, have seen the home of my fathers in the hands of strangers, while I stood powerless to save. Go tell the story of my race and the legends of my tribe to some wiser man, and let him speak of the dead, of the past, and of the future." Sadly the head of the Chief was bowed upon his breast - sadder still his mournful answer; "My past is dead; the present is passing; and I have no future."

The first blush of morning was beginning to tint the eastern sky, and clear and sharp upon the pure morning air came the notes of the bugle, sounding the reveille, as our hands met for the last time in farewell grasp.

"Brother, the day has chased away the night - the sun will shine for the sky is clear, and the clouds have passed away; the red chief has told me the story of his race; the white chief will write the legend of his tribe"


Our old home was in Con-Cow valley in what is now called by the white man Butte County.... For long and happy years the Con-Cows had lived there in peace and in plenty for they were good Indians... By and by the "ad-sals" [white man] told him [the Chief's father] that they wanted him to leave his dear old home; that the red and white could not live together and that he and his tribe must go and look for another home in another land.... The whites - some were very good and some were very bad - began to say that the Con-Cows were killing the "Shu-min".... If an ox or cow strayed away... it was always the Con-Cows that did it.... One day [1859] many white braves - volunteers they were called - came to our valley and gathered all our people together, and for many days and nights we traveled over the mountains until we came to a place on the shores of the Heli-mo-mox, the great waters, called Mendocino, where the Ad-sals had made a corral for us which was called a Reservation, and we were told to stay there. And the time became very hard, for often we were very hungry, and did not know where to get enough to eat, and the Con-Cows began to die very fast....

One day [1860] soon after I went to the head man on the Reservation, and told him that my people were hungry; that we had not ground enough to raise the corn and potatoes... that I wanted to go to some other place where there was more room; and he wrote to Washington, and by and by he told me we could go to Round Valley and live on that Reservation. So I gathered my Tribe together, and we started without any white braves...

But when we came to Round Valley we were as badly off as before; there was even less to eat, and my people had to work very hard. But the ad-sals knew that the Con-Cows were very good Indians, and they liked Tome-ya-nem [the Chief] very much, and every once in a while they helped us a little, but not much.

The Ad-sals [whites] were afraid that their Great Father in Washington would keep all the valley for the Indians, and that the whites would have to go to some other home, and they hated us for it very much; often at night, in the springtime, some of the Ad-sals would steal around our fences and throw them down, and drive their shu-min [stock] into the fields, and the young corn and everything green would disappear in one night.

One year [1862] there was nothing for us to eat, and I became very anxious for my Lauk-ome, for the rains were coming fast with the cold winds... and we would be shut in by the swollen streams, with starvation before and the Ad-sals behind. So I told my people to pull down their lodges and made ready to move.... I went to the head man [Short]... and shook hands with him, and told him that I must go, that I could not remain, that my people were starving and would have to kill the shu-min [stock] in the winter to keep from dying of hunger, and that the Ad-sals would kill them if they did. And in a long line, five hundred strong, we turned our faces toward... the East, and traveled onward to Wel-lu-da, our home.

But when we got across the mountains into the valley of the Sacramento, the Ad-sals who lived there came towards us and asked Tome-ya-nem whither he was bound, and I told them, to... my old home near Chico. And they sent the lightning to Hanson... and told him that I had left....

But one day, long before I got there, the white braves came down from Red Bluff, a great many of them with rifles and big guns, and they came up with us near a great river [ Sacramento] that we were trying to cross, and we halted. Then Hanson came in a carriage and asked me why I had left Nome-Cult.... He wanted me to turn back to Nome-Lackee; but I said that we wanted to see Wel-lu-da again for only one year. And he said that as we were good Indians we might do so, and that he would see that we had plenty of meat to eat.

So I went with my people and camped in a meadow some five miles from Chico, and my braves and my ma-hi-nas [women] went out and worked for the Ad-sals for a whole year. But many of them became very sick with chills and fever [malaria], and when the time came for us to go back to Nome-Cult they were so weak that they could scarcely walk, and many died on the trail, lying down sick and dying all the way from Chico to this place [ Nome-Cult Reservation]. And when we got here there was nothing for us to eat, and my people began to fall as thick and as fast as the acorns in the fall of the year... and there was no one here to do any thing for us - only the White Chief Douglas at Camp Wright, who sent his medicine man to take care of my sick, and Ad-sals and mules all the way to Chico to bring my people left dying on the trail - and here have remained ever since.

Are we happy now? No, my brother [Lieutenant Tassin ], no we have not been happy since we left our home.

When Captain Douglas at fort Wright heard that the sick ConCow Indians were dying along the mountain trail on their way back to the Round Valley Reservation, he appointed Supervisor James Short to bring them in. Short took a pack train with food and some teams and wagons to carry the sick Indians. For thirteen days he worked to bring in a " portion of them." He later commented that " about 150 sick Indians were scattered along the trail for 50 miles... dying at the rate of 2 or 3 per day. They had nothing to eat... and the wild hogs were eating them up either before or after they were dead."


83.7 Mandatory criteria for federal Acknowledgment

83.7(a) The petitioner has been identified as an American Indian entity on a substantialy continuous basis since 1900.

When Yohema died people from all the other tribes showed their respect. Vera McKeen

Henry Gramps head of the Gramps Clan.

1915 Kelsey census

1975-2002 Patsy Seek works with Native students in Oroville schools

Enterprise Rancheria letter of recognition

2000 Mooretown Rancheria acknowledges Patsy Seek for excellence in teaching.

Obits - John Clark

1965 or so _Eric Ritter hunted down Shaman Bryan Beavers of our tribe as the appropriate person to contact regarding cemeteries in the flux zone of the soon to be filled Lake Oroville.

2003_Repatriation of a human leg bone to us from the Maidu Advisory Council. A council that consists of representatives from:

1 - KonKow Valley Band of KonKow Maidu.

2 - Enterprise Rancheria of Maidu Indians

3 - Mooretown Rancheria of KonKow and Maidu Indians

4 - Berry Creek Rancheria of KonKow and Tyme Maidu

5 - Chico Rancheria of Mechoopda Indians

Plumas National Forrest recognition of Gramps cemetery as an "Indian" burial grounds.

83.7(b) A predominant portion of the petitioning group comprises a distinct community and has existed as a community from historical times until the present.

Henry Gramps head of Gramps Clan

When Yohema died Indian people from all local Maidu tribes came to show their respect. Vera McKeen

99.5% of our people died off between 1828 and 1880. At first it was the imported biological agents such as malaria that weakened us. Then we were overwhelmed by 100,000. Gold Seeking immigrants that ate our food and murdered us for fun and profit. When that got too much for the civilized citizens of the state, they locked us away for safe keeping. Most of those put on the reservations died there. We went home.

By the year 1900 there may have been one or two families from each of the KonKow tribes left who did not reside on a Reservation. This necessarily curtailed most Tribal functions. So we combined our functions with other Maidu tribes in similar circumstance. That is not to say that we didn't have gatherings or grass games though, because we did.

It was at a Bear Dance in Greenville that Archeologist Eric Ritter was referred to Shaman Bryan Beavers of our Tribe, regarding our cemeteries in the flux zone of the soon to be filled Lake Oroville.

Most of our marriages had to be outside the Tribe. There were not enough tribal members left to marry and reproduce safely.But never the less, there were still marriages between the various factions of our tribe and other local Maidu Tribes.

A few easy to find examples are:


David E Gramps from Pulga married Maggie Cayan from Little Chico creek.

Henery Christian Gramps from Pulga married Mollie F. Cayan from little Chico creek.

Harvey E. Gramps sr. from Pulga married Maxine H Clark from KonKow Valley.

Harry E. Gramps from Pulga married Bernice J Clark from KonKow Valley.

Albert B. Gramps from Pulga married Edna Mullins from Mooretown.

Charles Buren Gramps from Pulga married NiNa A. Mullens from Mooretown.

Edward H. Pinkston from KonKow married Ada Irene Gramps from Pulga.

Benjamin F. Clark from KonKow Valley married Annie Crabtree from the Wailaki tribe.

Freddie A. Gramps from pulga married Vivian E. Seek from Mooretown.

Ronald G. Seek from Mooretown married Patsy D. Walker from KonKow Valley.

David E. Gramps sr from Pulga maried Patsy D. Walker from KonKow.

David E. Gramps sr from Pulga married Christine C. Seek from Mooretown.

Dan Mullens from Mooretown married Zena Clark from KonKow Valley

George w. Gramps from Pulge married Helen E Clark from KonKow Valley.




83.7(b)(v) Evidence of strong patterns of discrimination or other social distinctions by non- members.

Eric Ritter Ph.D. Anthropology, the person who looked up Shaman Bryan Beavers of our tribe because he was told by others that Shaman Beavers was the appropriate person to contact regarding the salvage archeology to be done on the soon to be filled Lake Oroville. There are four other currently recognized Tribes in Butte County, but they were not singled out as the appropriate tribes to contact. Ours was.

MAC job announcement us three first, natives next, then others. The KonKow Valley Band came in second place to "our three tribes"

National NAGPRA will have nothing to do with us as a non-federally recognized indian tribe,but they will deal with us as lineal descendants.

California Department of Parks and Recreation refused to repatriate to our tribe because we are not Federally recognized. But they sit in on Maidu Advisory Council meetings that we are members of. If we can get the other "recognized tribes" to forfeit their repatriation rights and rights of possession to the California Department of Parks and Rec they will in turn give the remains to us, not through NAGPRA but under other applicable property laws.

Leg bone repatriated to us by the Maidu Advisory Council because it was found in our tribal area.

Genocide and Vendetta's account of the Jack Littlefield murder trial in which Walter Scott Clark is attacked as a witness because he is a Half Breed " you can't trust a half breed"

83.7(c) The petitioner has maintained political influence or authority over its members as an autonomous entity from historical times until the present.


Our Tribelets were destroyed. where once 7 to 20 families lived now only one or no families survived. There was no one left to govern. It became single family unites where tribes of 50 to 700 once lived. None the less we stayed close.

Henry Gramps the head of the Gramps Clan.


83.7(f) The membership of the petitioning group is composed principally of persons who are not members of any acknowledged North American Indian tribe.


This topic is one of most uncertainty. Many of our people could rightfully belong to the Mooretown Rancheria.


There is currently a law suit charging that the Bureau of Indian affairs dropped the ball after Tilly Hardwick. In that the BIA had say in the Enterprise Rancheria membership criteria and in the Berry Creek Rancheria membership criteria, but did not secure the rights of all the Indians who were and are lineal descendants of Mooretown Rancheria.

It is because of the afore mentioned discrepancies that the exiled members of the Mooretown Rancheria sought membership in our tribe starting around 1990

The exiled members of Mooretown are:

Mary King who married Fred Brown and their descendants

Edna Mullens who married Albert B. Gramps and their Descendants.

Nina Alice Mullens who married Charles Buren Gramps and their descendants

Some of the descendants of the above mentioned people are "adopted" members of the Mooretown Rancheria but do not have voting rights nor do they share in the profits of their casino nor are they eligible for tribal housing.

Which brings up the issue of property rights under federal NAGPRA. The rights of a lineal descendant of a known federally recognized indian who is himself not Federally recognized.

This disenfranchisement has happened to us in two different ways:

1 - The exiled members of Mooretown, not Federally recognized, but lineal descendants of the same people who are recognized at Mooretown.

2 - All the Gramps family are lineal descendants of two cemeteries of the Gramps that were identified as native american by the Plumas National Forrest. We are lineals, but not federally recognized.



Yo he ma, Yohema

Katie (Kitt) Clark. A full blood ConCow Maidu woman.

And Daughter of Tome-ya-ne, aka, Captain Busche, aka Chief of the ConCows.

Yo he ma was born in the winter of 1845 in ConCow Valley and died on 19 Apr, 1909. on Yankee hill, at 68 years old.

Yo he ma's sisters names were, Oie muck na and Ha teet na. One of which was married to a white man on the West Branch of the Feather River. Where she was hidden one day in a mine tunnel while her husband went to town. When he returned he found her murdered. And one of her brothers was killed near Dog Town shortly before their people were taken to the Round Valley Reservation.

The presence of Chief Tome-ya-ne near Chico for a year gave the Ad-sals the opportunity to round up the rest of the Con-Cows that escaped the first removal.

Alfred B Clark and Yo he ma were married in traditional ConCow customs in the early 1860s. They lived in ConCow Valley, Butte County California. This is evidenced by voters registration and the 1880 census.

A.B. Clark and Yohema's children soon followed with :

Walter Scott Clark, born in Yankee Hill on 7 Aug 1860, died on the Round Valley Reservation in Covelo Ca. on 17 Aug 1926

William C Clark, born in Cherokee on 29 Mar 1863, died on 24 Aprl 1935. in Yankee Hill

Benjamin Franklin Clark, born on 02 May 1865 in Yankee Hill, died 21 Aprl 1949 in Oroville

John Adams Clark, ClarkJohnAdams born 21 Jan 1868 in Frenchtown, died 10 mar 1947 in Oroville Ca.

George Washington Clark, born 9 Aprl 1870 in Yankee Hill, died 24 Jul 1927

Ransom Randolph, ClarkRanson born 29 Aug 1872 in Yankee Hill, died 5 Nov 1966 in Oroville

Katherine Katrina {Katie} Clark, born 23 Oct 1875 in Yankee Hill, died 11 Mar 1956


"Yohema evidently desired to place their mixed heritage children in the settler main stream. The times presented A. B. with compelling reasons for such a concern because after 1860, the youngest Clark children's earliest years, their mother's tribe endoured forced removal to the Round Valley Reservation. While soldiers exempted some Indian wives and companions of minors, they readily dispatched a considerable number of such women to the coast." Vera Clark McKeen"

Life in ConCow wasn't the same with out the Tribe. So, A.B. Clark and his wife Yo he ma and their children moved back to Yankee Hill where the Lincon Family of the Che es see band of ConCow lived. A.B. Clark applied for and was granted a home stead there as an original settler on May 3rd 1881.

A. B. Clark and his boys, especially John Clark did lots of mining. Between them there are too many gold claims to list individually. So I will only mention a few of the most noted. 1897-1915_Clark_mining_claims


John A. Clark 21 Jan 1868 to 10 Mar 1947 #3571

Grandson of Indian Chief Heads War Vets.

T...........John A. Clark is the man............the local Spanish - American War Veterans, bear the distinction of having as their leader a man who is a direct descendant of an Indian chief. Clark's mother, Kit - Yohema, was the daughter of Chief Busche, who ruled the ConCow tribe at the time of the gold rush. At that time it is estimated the tribe numbered 7,000 and the tribe name still clings to that area of Butte County where Clarks reside..........born at French town, a mining town of the ConCow district, January 21, 1868. Only a few old cellars and a few piled up rocks remain of the town that at the time of the Clarks's birth had a population of about five hundred. Clarks father, who came with the gold seekers, engaged there in the butcher and cattle business under the name of Clark and Cannon. Cannon was one of the early members of the California Assembly.

Reared in a mining Atmosphere, Clark has mined most of his life. Though his third grade graduation certificate entitled him to teach two months of teaching in the government Indian School at Covelo. Mendicino County, ended when the news of the gold strike in Humbolt County reached him. He went to the strike at New River and from there into Trinity County where in 1887 he found evidence of a mine that in 1910 was rediscovered and proved very rich.

Enlisted in War

In 1895 John Clark found the Clark Placer Mine, near ConCow, which he worked for twelve years, gaining $38,000. from his find. It was while his workers in this mine were producing half an ounce of gold daily to the man that the call for volunteers was issued in the Spanish _ American war. John Clark walked eight miles from his mine to Yankee Hill, hired a buggie and was brought to Oroville where he took a train to San Frisco, the point of enlistment. He served during the war in Company G,8th Infantry. In 1910 he took up the study of law but after two years again resumed mining as the work he liked best. The Surcease Mine at Big Bend was one of his finds.

Saw service again

In 1916 John Clark again saw military service when I company, of Oroville, was called for Mexican boarded patrol. " Too many gray hairs", as Clark put it, kept him from the world war, but even in this he had a part as a member of the Butte County exemption board and a worker with the red cross. John Clark has constantly worked for the advancement of the ConCow district where his Grand father was Chief. For thirty five years he has been a member of the board of school trustees, serving much of that time as clerk of the Board and working for the advancement of the school. He also was the first President of the Yankee Hill Improvement Club formed for the advancement of interests in that district.

He is a member of the Improved Order of the Redman, Winoka Tribe No. 153 Chico. And a charter member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 1747, of Oroville.

John Clark is a matter of legend in Butte County, as it goes. They say there isn't a quartz ledge or placer mining prospect in the County that he hasn't prospected at one time. He was 79 years old at his last birthday, but just a year ago he filed a quartz claim in Shasta County. He found gold, he said, and several other minerals, too. It wasn't anything new. he'd been doing it, or so it is officially recorded, since 1893. Some even say he was born in a quartz vein.

Stories grow

That's how stories about him have grown and why his life has always been a matter of public record and public knowledge. Anyone interested in prospecting a mine or feeling the age old urge to learn something about the toughest game in the world end up talking to Johnny Clark. In 1893 he located the Morning Star Mine in Big Bend. in 1895 he discovered the Washington Placer Mine and made upwards of $42,000. before his work was interrupted by service in the Spanish - American War. When he returned he again took up his life long work. In 1911 he discovered the quartz ledge at the Surcease Mine. He's found so many since then, they say the list occupies several full pages of his ledger. He somehow found time to marry during those busy years and he was father to a daughter, the present Mrs. A.H. Leslie of Redding. His wife died only a few months ago. Friday, Jonnie, accompanied by some of his Roughrider regiment and by his daughter and brothers and a sister will make the prospecting journey to Marysville. While in Marysville the group will attend a funeral. They'll all return Friday night. All except John Adams Clark, 79, gold miner, who entered the Great Mine while he was asleep in Oroville Monday night.


William C. Clark 29 Mar 1863 to 24 apr 1935 71 years

OBITUARY - Oroville Mercury - Register. Friday, April 26, 1935

Friends recall Clark Activities

Friends of William C. Clark, of Yankee Hill. who died at his home in Yankee Hill Wednesday night, told many interesting stories today of his varied career. A Carlisle graduate, a former star reporter on the Reno Gazette, and a deputy United States Marshal in Nevada and California, Clark had led an active life.

Didn't Cash In

In about 1914 or 1915 as a paid prospector for a mining company he saw something glistening in a Badger hole in the Tonopah district. It was a gold nugget valued at $3,000., reputed to be the largest ever found in that State. But Clark did not realize any financial return from his discovery. He was being paid to prospect and he turned it over to the company. It became known as the " Badger Nugget " Clark was familiar with Indian history in this section and frequently was consulted by those seeking such lore.

Was Mine Foreman

Captain John D. Hubbard of Chico recalled that Clark had been his mine fore man at the Holden Mining and Milling Co. At Tuscarora, Nevada, above Elko, in 1917. The Company owned 117 claims. Hubbard, general superintendent, had picked Clark as foreman from a group of miners when Hubbard assumed supervision of the properties.

Grave side funeral services will be held in the Clark Family cemetery at Yankee Hill at 2 p.m. Sunday.


Ransom Randolf Clark

Clark Ranson R

29 Aug 1872 to 5 Nov 1966, 94 years, born in Yankee Hill, ConCow Territory, Butte County California. Died in Oroville, ConCow Territory, Butte County California.

He was a noted political cartoonist and Indian activest.

Walter Scott Clark

7 Aug 1860 to 17 Aug 1926 66 years old, Born in Yankee Hill, ConCow Territory, Butte County California. Died in Covelo, Round Valley Reservation, Mendicino County, California.

Genocide and Vendetta: the Round Valley Wars of Northern California

Walter S. Clark is mentioned on pages: 270, 272, 278, 281, 289 and 298

The killing and hanging of Jack Littlefield on September 27, 1895, was the climax of what one reporter called " The bitterest quarrel of all the west," the "only deadly fued in California."

"Attorney General Post tried to prove that it was impossiable for a mob to murder Jack Littlefield because he " showed where everybody in that county was,... a reference to all residents of the county as being in rebuttal to the testimony of an alleged mob."

Walter Clark, one of the strongest witnesses for the prosecution, had sworn that he had heard three shots, one loud and two of lesser detonation, at the time Littlefield was lynched, and the defense attempted to impeach his statements. Attorney Reid and Thomas Haydon testified that the two, in company with Buck Lacock, John Vinton, and Gordon Van Horn, went to the place where Littlefield was murdered and fired five shots from a .44 - caliber Winchester rifle. The purpose of this "was to prove that the report of a rifle fired at the scene of the lynching could not be heard at the Red Mountain house."

When this plan of attack failed, Walter Clark's reputation was attacked by witnesses for the defence. George Grist and William Bonee testified that they were well acquainted with Walter and that they had heard many good citizens in and around Round Valley say that his reputation for truth, honesty, and integrity was bad. The stereotyped term half - breed, with all its sinister neggative connotations, was repeatedly used to describe him: " You can't trust a half-breed.""

Walter Scott Clark and three other brothers went to the Round Valley Reservation in Mendicino County California in the 1890's to secure their portion of the Round Valley Reservation. But only Walter stayed to make a claim. It was to remote from the boys parents for the others to stay.But before leaving the Reservation Benjamin Franklin Clark met and married a half breed indian girl, Annie Crabtree whom he brought back to Yankee Hill with him. Walter married a Indian woman known only as Flora. They were both granted alotments on the Round Valley Reservation. They had no children. Walter S. Clark is burried in the Wispering pines Wailaki cemetary there. Although, because his grave was vandalized at first, he was dug up and burried in an un marked grave, never to be disturbed again. His wife moved back to KonKow Territory, Chico California, and is burried in the Indian cemetary there.

Martin Gramps Sr.

Was a german man who came to the North Fork to mine in 1854 and stayed By 1884 he had married a local Native American woman. and was living just north of the mouth of Mill Creek about half a mile from ( Big Bar) now called Pulga. The tract of land was cleared in the 1860s and 1870s by Native Americans, who also planted apple trees and grape vines. Gramps purchased the land and improvements from the Native Americans in 1884 and planted more apple trees, as well as maintained the grape vines. At various times he also grew hay and raised hogs and cattle. (Pnf Homestead Files). Gramps house was noted by Keddie during his surveys of the canyon in 1892 and 1912 ( Keddie (1892, 1912) and two of Gramp's sons, Henery and Dan ( along with their wives and 8 children each) were listed in Kelsey's 1906 census of non-reservation Indians (1971 : 10). Henery in fact, lived on a parcel of land just south of his father (PNF Homestead files). Gramps died around 1915 or 16,but his descendants continue to reside in the canyon near Mill Creek.

His wife Elza was the daughter of Key lo lay and his wife Yoh ehee wih. Both of Martin Gramps sons married important Indian women from the Little Chico Creek area. Mollie Florence Cayan and Maggie Cayan are the daughters of a head man of the KonKow in the Little Chico Creek area. His name is Moo lay yoo and his wife's name is Hau mal nih. Moo lay yoo is a signer on the Treaty of 1851 between O.M. Wozencroft and the head men of the KonKow in that area. ( Around Chico )

On December 29, 1882 Martin Gramps, John Gramps and Harry Ginder filed the Saw Mill Bar mining claim. It was for a 900 foot section of the Feather River at the mouth of Mill Creek In Butte County California. Just above the Perkins and companies placer claim known as the Big Bar Claim. On his portion of the Saw mill bar claim, Martin Gramps built a nine bed room two story house. Which served as a modern day replacement to the Round Houses of the past. Many Indian people lived in that house over the years to follow. Including our present day Tribal Chair woman Patsy D. Seek. and her children.

On June 20, 1932 3.56 acres of that claim was condemned by the State of California for the purpose of putting a High way on. it was a section 110 feet wide and 900 feet long.

On June 10, 1952 a complaint was filed against the remaining claim. Again for the purpose of building a bigger better highway. Known as High way 70 up the Feather River Canyon.

On July 8, 1954 the Butte County Court issued its Final order of condemnation. Taking the last 40.5 acres cemetery and the nine bedroom two story house from the Gramps clan for the sum of $3,750.00. It is on this final order that you can find the names of many of the Gramps clan as heirs of Martin Gramps.

The State took 40.5 acres from the Gramps Clan and the U.S. Forrest Service for the Plumas National Forrest has issued CALTRANS a use permit for 4.5 acres of that 40.5 acres that we were forced to vacate. So, tell me why we had to vacate the remaining 36 acres. Oops ! Their is a typo on their permit... Someone left out a zero, can you guess where ? Now, who do we ask for the right to repatriate there? The State of the Feds.

The United States Forrest Service for the Plumas National Forrest recognize our Pulga cemetery as an historical Indian burial grounds. This sits above the Cal Trans maintenance station in Pulga.

Charles Buren Gramps married Nina Alice Mullens, a Mooretown Indian woman, Ada Irene Gramps married Edward Horatio Pinkston. A half breed from the Chico creek area. they had several children and William "Bill" Pinkston recalls that Bryan Beavers was a friend of his families since his " Bill's " childhood.

The KonKow tribe was further fragmented with the rediscovery in 1905, of the "lost" treaties of 1851, public opinion began to favor the Indians. Between 1906 and 1910, legislation was passed appropriating funds which were used to purchase many small tracts of land in central and north central California for the land less Indians of those areas. These tracts today are the bulk of those Indian lands known as " Rancherias " While the act provided lands for land less Indians, It did not provide a method for taking land owned by Indians into trust. In our claimed territory, there was an Indian allotment in the Pulga area along Camp Creek in the name of ABRO Johnson. But if we were to claim that Rancheria the same fate would befall us as befell the other Rancherias in Butte County. Namely, the naming of descendants of the original rancheria inhabitants as the only people to have a rightful share in the rancheria and thus leaving out others of our tribe to fend for them selves because they didn't have their "owned" land taken into trust for them. If you look at the existing Rancherias in Butte County you will find North Western KonKow and North Eastern Maidu on the same Rancheria. Thus eliminating the distinction between the two Tribes. Or to phrase it another way, You can find Maidu Rancherias in KonKow territory.

Shaman Bryan Almon Beavers

was born in 1901 and lived at: rt. 1 box 225, Oroville Ca . A neighbor of Ransom Clark, a noted Indian activist who lived on the same trail off Big Bend Rd.

In 1966 and 67 as a Shaman of our tribe, Bryan Beavers oversaw the disposition of our deceased citizens. Unfortunately, he died in 1971 before he could get them back. He is buried just inside the gate to the left, three spaces away from Oliver C. Josephson and two spaces away from William Josephson, in the Yankee hill cemetery, Butte County, KonKow Territory, California.

In 1966 a Student archeologist by the name of Eric Ritter was given an excellent opportunity to complete his Masters Thesis. He investigated the Indian tribe who's ancestors were buried in the flux zone of the soon to be filled Lake Oroville. After attending a Bear Dance or two and talking to local natives, Eric Ritter was directed to Brian Beavers as a member of the appropriate tribe to contact regarding the exhumation of the human remains soon to be inundated by the filling of lake Oroville. With the assistance of Bryan Beavers and others, Eric Ritter located our older grave yards. Eric Ritter and many others,proceeded to dig up what is now referred to by California Department of Parks and Recreation as the KonKow Village of Tie-Wiah, BUT- S84. see: Eric Ritters Masters Thesis.



Patsy Delores Walker Seek.

Tribal Chairwoman of the KonKow Valley Band of Maidu.

Patsy and her grand daughter Brandy Doring both sit on the Maidu Advisory Council composed of Tribal legacy coordinators and one alternate from:

1 - KonKow Valley Band of Maidu

2 - Enterprise Rancheria of Maidu Indians

3 - Berry Creek Rancheria of Tyme Maidu

4 - Mooretown Rancheria of KonKow and Maidu Indians.

5 - Chico Rancheria of Mechoopda Indians.


It is the Maidu Advisory Council that voted to return a human leg bone to the KonKow Valley Band of Maidu Indians.


See below:


Questions or Comments ?
contact our NAGPRA Coordinator,
Eric S Josephson

Tribal Chairwoman Patsy Seek was born in Butte County on Jan 25, 1938 as Patsy Delores Walker.

The times were bad for whites and Indians alike at that time. Patsy's Mother was forced by necessity to leave Patsy with other members of the Konkow Tribe. Namely, Frank Martin and Louise Beavers. Frank Martin was part Konkow and part Maidu from another tribe. (Mooretown Rancheria) and Louise Beavers was of KonKow Descent.

Patsy lived there and went to Pentz school from there. Until she was eight years old, 1st and part of 2nd grade. Then Patsy went to school at Bird Street elementary in Oroville for a little while in 2nd grade. She then went to Forbestown for just 3 months. Part of the Spring from there She went to Greenville. In Greenville she went to school with a lot of Maidu Indian kids for about a year, 3rd grade. Then moved to Yankee Hill and went to school at Concow School in the 4th and part of the 5th grade.

Living with Frank Martin and Louise Beavers as a little girl, she always went to Indian Grass Games and was around the Indian people in Feather Falls ( Mooretown Rancheria) and Berry Creek (Tyme Maidu). Patsy stayed with the Smith Family for a while. The Smith Family Indian alotment is what the Berry Creek Rancheria is based on. The Smiths are KonKow.


When Patsy was about ten and a half years old her mother came and took her first to Aunt Vera's for about a month and a half, then to Chico. That was when she found out what kind of Indian she was. At that time she met her brother, Smokey Jones. Patsy also has two other brothers; Donald Jones and Eddie Jones, and a sister Sally Engasser, her brother Smokey Jones, was the one that was teaching her about Konkow and Maidu culture. Patsy remembers meeting her grandfather, Benjamin Franklin Clark and her Great Uncle Ransom Randolph Clark. Patsy also remembers meeting Bryan Beavers, who was a shaman of the KonKow Tribe. Patsy also met some of the older the Josephsons, which were cousins of hers in Paradise. The Josephsons are Konkow also. Eric Josephson still has Grand ma Yo he ma's mortar and Pestle.

As a child, Patsy was also taken to Covelo, Round Valley Reservation where she met her Great-Aunt Jane and also other cousins. Patsy spent lots of time there going to some culture things there and family get-togethers.

Then to Chico where she went to school for a year and a half, 6th and half of 7th grade. Then, her mother moved them back to Yankee Hill and then to Pulga.

Patsy was then left with the Gramps Family in Pulga. She went to school in a one room school house. At that time she was in the 8th grade and graduated there at fourteen years old.

Patsy's mother came and got her then and took her to Oroville for about 4 months. Patsy went to Oroville High School for a while, but, she had her children at a early age. Patsy went back to Pulga, and stayed there until 1954. Patsy moved again and went back to Pulga in 1955. Back and forth between Yankee Hill, Pulga and Oroville. Patsy lived in Yankee Hill most of her childhood

Patsy was taught about her Indian heritage from members of the Gramps family and her brother Smoky Jones.

When Patsy had her children she lived in Yankee Hill for a while and then Oroville. Patsy raised her nine children in the Oroville area since then.

Patsy has raised 9 children all of which have finished high school,

Patsy is proud to say "I now have 20 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren."

Patsy went to work for the Oroville Union School District in 1975. She worked there until July of 2002. At 64 years old, she retired. Patsy worked with Native American Indian students. The program was called Title IV, then it was called Title V and then it was called Title IX. Patsy was hired to get the Indian students to go to school more than they did. Patsy affectionately calls all the Indian students " Her Kids" She was there for 27 1/2 years. At first She worked in the high school and after 2 years in the grade schools also.

It is because of her tireless passion to help "her kids", the Indian students in the greater Oroville area, that on April 11, 2003 the Tribal Council of Enterprise Rancheria wrote Patsy a letter, recognizing the KonKow Valley Band of Maidu as a contemporary Indian Tribe deserving Federal recognition. Several of Enterprise Rancheria Tribal Council Members are "Patsy's Kids"

Smoky Jones and his wife Cleo, Jim Casko and Patsy did a couple of Big Time get togethers. The four of them did all the cooking that was done. Patsy made indian fry bread for two days at these Big Time get togethers. Indian people from Greenville, Redding, Oroville and other places came to play grass games half the night. "It was fun to do for all the culture that was there". The Big Time Get Togethers were at the park at ConCow lake.

We haven't held a Big Time for some time. But we do participate in the Annual First Salmon Ceremony with the other local tribes contributing money, and other goods and services. Elder J.D. Smith of Berry Creek Rancheria directs the First Salmon ceremonies and makes Acorn soup. While Eric Josephson and his crew smoke the Salmon . Patsy puts up her big Plains Tee Pee and helps makes sure every one does their part. Including Thaddeus Cason and his wife Tina and their crew who man the Fry bread booth.


" Aunt " Vera Clark McKeen 12 Mar, 1902 and is still kickin.

She tells the story of being made to stay inside the house when the other Indian women would come over to their house to process acorns into flour. It turns out that acorn processing wasn't the only thing going on there. As Vera once saw one of the other Indian women stumble away. Vera figures the other Indian woman was drunk. The time frame for this ia around 1910.

Aunt Vera has been documented as an Indian. She even had a book written about her. Go to the Google search engine and type in " Vera Mckeen " and you will be led to a picture of her at her 100th Birthday.


Smokey Jones

* * * * * *



The "ConCow Maidu "

As Euro-Americans call us, are the descendants of " Indians " located in the Feather River drainage. All the Tribes of the Feather River drainage speak variations of the Penution language and are culturally and socially akin. We lived in family groups up and down our water ways. Amid great natural beauty. We are a stable and highly social people. We participate in the annual gatherings with other tribes for social events, games, and to fish for Salmon.

In the year 1828, Summer was coming to an end and the ConCow peoples were returning from their summer camps around Grassy Lake. Grassy lake is about twenty five miles North East of their more permanent winter home in the KonKow Valley and surrounding foothills. The KonKow Valley is about twenty miles north of present day Oroville, in Butte County California.

The ConCow migrated with the water up the hills in the summer and back down in the fall of the year. That is when, in the year 1828 that Jedediah Smith first met the ConCow. Jedediah and a party of trappers stayed the six months of winter with our people. In 1833 Trappers Michael Lafromboise and John work spent the winter in the ConCow territory. And between 1828 and 1836 the Hudson Bay Company sent more trappers to the ConCow territory.

As a result of the contact with the Euro-Americans, a malaria epidemic swept through the ConCow villages in 1833 killing an estimated 800 people.

In the year 1848 Gold was discovered and by the Year 1849 the ConCow territory was over run by gold seekers and accompanying settlers. Traditional food sources quickly became scarce and conflicts broke out between the Euro-Americans and the Native Population.

In the year 1850, The government attempted to end the the conflicts between the Indians and the Euro-Americans by creating treaties to place the natives on reservations. During 1850-51, Indian Agent Oliver Wozencraft was sent to negotiate with all the Maiduan groups.

On August 1, 1851 The headmen of the nearby ConCow territories were called to gather at the Bidwell Rancho on Chico Creek to conclude a treaty of " Peace and Friendship " with O.M. Wozencraft, U.S. Indian agent. The treaties promised the Indians approximately 227 square miles of land roughly from Chico to Nimshew to Oroville.

Almost immediately after the Federal Treaty of 1851, the California State Senate appointed a committee to look into the treaties and the Governor decided to oppose any law that gave Indians exclusive right to foothill land that was high in gold bearing quartz or to valley land that was valuable to the settlers and farmers.

One year later, 1852, the U.S. Senate secretly rejected all the treaties.

In 1853 the Government authorized the Nome Lackie reservation.

In 1854 Indians from Marysville the foot hills near Chico and Yuba city were rounded up and driven to the Nome Lackie reservation and forced to stay there.

During the 1850s diseases continued to decimate the ConCow peoples. It was estimated that by 1853 over 800 more ConCow died of Pneumonia, Influenza, Tuberculosis, Small Pox, Malaria or Cholera.


The ConCow Maidu Trail of Tears.

In the fall of 1862 , a large number of Indians were on the Round Valley Reservation . Because of over crowding, lack of food, and unsanitary conditions, disease spread rapidly. Winter was approaching, and the swollen streams surrounding the valley would isolate it from the rest of the world until spring. The ConCow Maidu Indians realized what their fate would be. So one morning in September , a large number, from three to five hundred , packed their meager valuables and said good bye to Supervisor Short, and started for their old home in the Sacramento Valley. They were stopped at the Sacramento River near Chico. Headman Tome - ya - nem told the soldiers that his people were starving and asked for work to earn food for the winter. The ConCow were granted permission to camp about five miles from Chico for the winter. during the next almost one year, more ConCow Maidu Indians were rounded up and corralled with the group from the Round Valley Reservation. In 1863 the remaining ConCow were ordered to be at the Bidwell Rancheria on August 28,1863 to be taken to the Round Valley Reservation at Covelo in Mendicino County. If any Indians were found after that date, they would be shot on sight. And they were. Agents collected 435 Indians and placed them under Major Hooker's control in Chico, as prisoners of war.

Captain Augustus W. Starr, Co F., 2nd Cavalry, California Volunteers, in command of twenty-three mounted infantrymen, was assigned as escort to assist sub agent Eddy in the removal of the Indians. Fourteen wagons were commandeered from valley ranchers to carry supplies and many of the Indians as far as Thomas Creek. This ill-starred trip has gone down in Indian history as an inhumane drive to a strange and inhospitable valley over a long, hot, dry trail through the Sacramento Valley and through the steep , rocky rout of the Coast Range. Many of the Indians already were sick from being rounded up, marched, and corralled.

Leaving Camp Bidwell, about four miles north of Chico, on September 4, 1863, the group spent the first night at Colby's Ferry. On the following nights, stops were made at the Kirpatrick Ranch and the James Ranch. On September 8, they reached the Laycock Ranch on Thomas Creek and the wagons were returned to Chico as planned. When the Pack train from Round Valley did not arrive at Thomas Creek four days later, Captain Starr ordered all the Indians to walk Approximately three miles to Mountain House where they met the pack train. On September 14th, the few who were well enough to travel were put on mule back, their children into one big wagon, and the rest had to go on foot. One hundred and fifty Indians who were too sick from poor drinking water, unaccustomed food, fever, and exhaustion were left with sub-agent Eddy at Mountain House.

On September 16th 1863, the wagon was left at log springs. Some of the women and children were put on mules or on the soldier's horses, but most had to walk the rest of the way to Round Valley Reservation. Making one night stops at government camps and on the middle fork of the Eel River, they reached Round Valley on September 18, 1863. 461 Indians started the treck, 277 finished it

When Captain Douglas at fort Wright heard that the sick ConCow Indians were dying along the mountain trail on their way back to the Round Valley Reservation, he appointed Supervisor James Short to bring them in. Short took a pack train with food and some teams and wagons to carry the sick Indians. For thirteen days he worked to bring in a " portion of them." He later commented that " about 150 sick Indians were scattered along the trail for 50 miles... dying at the rate of 2 or 3 per day. They had nothing to eat... and the wild hogs were eating them up either before or after they were dead."



Kroeber, A. L.


1976 Handbook of the Indians of California (reprint). New York: Dover Publications, Inc. (Pp. 391-441).


Their territory may be described as consisting of the drainage of the Feather and American Rivers; or differently stated, the region from the Sacramento River east to the crest of the Sierra Nevada (p391).


A comparison of vocabularies shows very quickly that Maidu speech falls into three languages: a southern one ( Nissinan ), spoken over a full half of the entire Maidu area, and two northern tongues which pass under the appellations of northwestern and northeastern (Maidu). The northeastern Maidu ( Yamani ) inhabit a distinct topographic area: the upper reaches of the ramified drainage of the north and middle forks of the Feather River. The eastern language is not known to have been split into dialects. The northwestern Maidu ( KonKau ) were below the high Sierra, part of them 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. Habits of life were diverse as were customs of speech (p392).


Northeastern Maidu settlements: 1) Oidoing-koyo; 2) Nakong-koyo; 3) Hopnom-koyo; 4) Ko-tasi; 5) Tasi-koyo; 6) Yota-moto; 7) Silong-koyo (p393).

Northwestern Maidu settlements: 8) Paki; 9) Yaku; 19) Bahyu; 11) Tadoiko; 12) Michopdo; 13) Eskini; 14) Yunu; 15) Nim-sewi; 16) Otaki; 17) Tsulum-sewi; 18) Konkau; 19) Taikus; 20) Toto-ma; 21) Tsam-bahenom; 22) Hokomo; 23) Benkumkumi; 24) Kalkalya; 25) Hoholto; 26) Kulayapto; 27) Tsuka; 28) Tsaktomo; 29) Yuma; 30) Ololopa; 31) Bayu; 32) Botoko; 33) Taichida; 34) Bauka (p394).

Political Organization

A group owning a certain territory in common, knowing themselves as a group, acting largely as a unit, but actually residing in several settlements (p396). The area claimed by each village community was very definitely known and sometimes marked. It is stated that four communities in eastern Butte County between Oroville and Mooretown once met to agree on the precise limits of their lands and on certain devices by which these should be marked. There is no trace of any system of social or political classification other than the village communities, nor of any fictitious or exogamic kinship groups (p398).

The Chief

The chief is said to have been chosen for his wealth and popularity, irrespective of descent. He could be disposed of whenever he became unsatisfactory to the majority (Mountain Maidu). Their chief was hereditary. Evidences of descent as succession in office and inheritance of property rights afford invariably point to the Maidu counting in the male line (p 399).


Feuds are likely to have been as common between Maidu villages as between them and foreigners. There is no evidence that any considerable group of Maidu towns ever united in a common movement against aliens (Pp. 400-01).


Among all the Maidu, kinship alone is said to have been a bar to marriage. The man was free to wed in his own village or another village. Since his home settlement, however, consisted largely of kinsman, he more commonly went elsewhere for his wife. In normal cases the permanent home of a couple was in the man's village, but a first residence with the bride's parents was the rule everywhere. This was clearly to render services as whole or partial purchase payment, and not a reminiscence of any principle of exogamy (p402).

The Kuksu Cult

The Maidu form of the Kuksu religion is the best known of any (p432). Its general features having been already presented in the comparative discussion of the cult in a chapter on the Wintun, It remains only to indicate tribal individualization (Pp. 432-33).


Kroeber A. L.

1947 Cultural and Natural Areas of Native North America. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Kroeber breaks Maidu groups into the Mountain Maidu (northeastern), the Northern Hill (northwestern), the Northern Valley (northwestern), the Southern Hill (Nisenan), and the Southern Valley (Nisenan).

Kroeber divides the California culture area into three portions California (2a) from Kato, Yuki, Wintun, Yana, south to Yokuts and Salinan, the Califronia Climax (2b) which includes the Valley Nisenan and Maidu, Patwin, and Pomo, and the California-Northwest Transition (2c) which includes the Trinity, Wintu, Shasta, Chimariko, Whilkut, Nongatl, Mattole, Sinkyone, and Wailaki


Duncan, John Whitfield

Maidu Ethnobotany. Masters Thesis (Anthropology?) Sacramento: California State University, Sacramento.

The Yearly Gathering Cycle

The Northwest Maidu and the Concow used to follow the spring up into the mountains. As the land started to dry up around the Concow Lake area, many of the Indians would move up north and east until by late summer many of the camps would be near Grassy Lake, which is at least twenty-five miles north and east of the winter camps. These summer camps were used for hunting. At the same time that some of the Concow were hunting in the mountains, others were journeying to Oroville to gather grass seeds. Thus in the late summer months these Indians would be spread out over a forty or fifty mile area in order to gather foods (Pp. 35-36).


Curtis, Edward S.

The North American Indian Volume 14. New York: Johnson Reprint Corporation.

Roughly defined, their former territory is the eastern drainage area of Sacramento River from a point a few miles north of Chico southward to Cosumnes River, a distance in a straight line of about one hundred and ten miles (p 99).

On linguistic and geographical grounds Dixon (The Northern Maidu, Bulletin American Museum of Natural History, XVII, 1905) recognizes three divisions: the Northeastern Maidu, partly in the arid plains of Lassen County, but more numerously in the mountain valleys of Plumas County; the Northwestern Maidu, west of the first-named division and north of the Yuba River; and the Southern Maidu, south of the Yuba River. Considerable differences, all due to environmental and other external influences, existed between these divisions (p 100).

It must not be thought that within each of these more or less arbitrary divisions there was a uniform culture. In every case there were rather wide differences between opposite borders. Thus, among the Northwestern Maidu the people of the valley and those of the foothills were nearly as divergent as the two northern major divisions ( p 100).

The ceremonial organization of the foothills was much simpler than that of the valley. Lastly, the vocabularies show many variations, mostly lexical, not phonetic (101).

Spaniards from the south explored the lower courses of Sacramento and Feather Rivers in the first quarter of the nineteenth century, and trappers, approaching from the opposite direction, made a beginning of exploration in the mountains. None of these activities left any impression on the country or the native people. In 1839, John A. Sutter, a Swiss soldier, obtained a grant near the mouth of the American River. It was in this region that gold was discovered in 1848. The operations of the miners filled with debris the streams from which the natives had always obtained a substantial par of their food, and drove the game into remote fastnesses (101).

Today (1924) there are about two hundred Maidu, probably one twentieth of the population at the beginning of the last century. With the exception of a few at Round Valley Reservation in former Yuki territory, the Maidu live in small groups here and there in their old domain, most of them on allotted land. Their principle centers are in or near Chico and Mooretown in Butte County, for the Northwestern Maidu, Prattville and Genesee in Plumas County for the Northeastern Maidu, and Nashville in El Dorado County for the southern division; but others are to be found, one family here, two there, throughout the entire area. The largest number at any one place is on the Bidwell Ranch at Chico, and it is on information there obtained that the material for the following pages is based. It must be understood, therefore, that statements therein made do not necessarily apply outside the valley section of the Northwestern Maidu (102).

There is no trace of tribe or clan among the Maidu. Each village was a separate entity, and had its head-man, who occupied his position by virtue of public opinion that he was best qualified for it by intelligence, judgment, energy, and wealth. It follows that the office was not hereditary. The position itself carried less authority than did the forcefulness of the incumbent (112).

There was no rule requiring the choice of a wife outside the man's own village, and as there were no clans, any woman not related by blood was eligible (115).

During the six winter months, approximately from the middle of October to the middle of April, the valley Maidu observed a series of dances, which from their general similarity are probably to be regarded as forming one ceremonial cycle (121).

Population- There are no reliable early estimates of Maidu population. The census of 1910 enumerated 1100, but this is certainly erroneous, even allowing for the inclusion of mixed-bloods. Dixon, who investigated the Maidu in various visits from 1899 to 1903, thought the number of full-blood Maidu could not exceed 250 (192).


Partial List of Northwestern Maidu ( KonKau ) Villages (pages 194-5)


Rock, Chico, and Butte Creeks

Hoida [Hoitdal], near the head of Mud Creek, an affluent of Rock Creek, northeast of Chico. 

Ataki [Otaki], on Sandy Gulch four miles east of Chico. 

Yoko [Yauka], near the head of the Chico Creek on the south bank. 

Yudo, two or three miles below Yoku on the south bank. 

Lulimba, about four miles from Yudo on Little Chico Creek. 

S'ilimma, west of Lulimba. 

Bahapki, the present village on the Bidwell Ranch at Chico, the people of which came from Michapdo.

Wanatta. On Sandy Gulch northwest of Chico. 

Bahyu [Bayu], two or three miles east of Sacramento River and west of Chico.

Sunusi, on the east bank of Sacramento River, west of Chico.

Supte, three or four miles southeast of Chico. 

Kaksuionno, on Little Chico Creek below Chico.

Chah'loka, two or three miles below Kaksuionno. 

Challipe, four miles west of Chah'loka. 

Eskeni [Eskini], "soap-root-fibre-brush," at site of_Durham. A short distance from this place is Tadoiko, the scene of the Northwestern Maidu creation myth, but no village was ever situated there.

Michapdo [Michopdo], three miles northeast of Durham. 

Bakupani, north of Michapdo. 

Patsele, north of Bakupani and south of Chico. 

Taikusi [Taikus], about fifteen miles easterly from Chico, in the foothills.


Feather River

Yupu, at the site of Yuba City on the west bank of the Feather River (original of the name Yuba).

Menomma, ten miles north of Yupu.

Seke, north of Menomma on the west bank of Feather River.

Misau, north of Seke on the west bank of Feather River.

Baka [Bauka], north of Misau on the west bank of Feather River near the site of Gridley.

Bayu [Bayu], north of Baka on the west bank of the Feather River.

Alalapa [Ololopa], north of Bayu on the west bank of Feather River near the site of Oroville. One of their transient villages was Bataka [Botoko].

Kapa, west bank of Feather River opposite the site of Oroville.

Yumam, at the site of Oroville.

Sito, near the site of Enterprise on the middle fork of the Feather River. The dance-house of this village was at Benkumkum[Benkomkomi].

Tatamma [Tatoma], about eight miles northwest of Sito on the north fork of Feather River.

Hakama, north of the site of Mooretown on the middle fork of the Feather River.



Tassin, Augustus Gabriel


The Con-Cow Indians. Overland Monthly, Vol. 4 (1884): 7-14.

State Library microfilm 1247. V. 15 ; 2nd series V. 5. July 1875 ; june 1885. Reel 3.

Che-es-sees Indians who came from Yankee Hill in Butte County about 12 or 14 miles east of Concow Valley (12)

Mendicino Reservation (12)

Those who remained were known as Yankee Hill Indians (12)

Bidwell Ranch (13)

It was recorded that they left Yankee Hill to go to the Bidwell Ranch for safety (14)

Concows Nome Cult Reservation, Round Valley (14)

Uh-le-ma, Chief of tribe (14)



Powers, Stephen


Tribes of California. Berkeley: University of California Press.

This is a large nation, extending from the Sacramento to Honey Lake, and from Big Chico Creek to Bear River. Of separate tribes or villages there are many. I give what I could collect, first premising that the same name is applied to the locality and to the inhabitants of it, though this is not always the case (282).

On Honcut Creek, going up, are the To-to and the Hel-to. In Concow Valley are the Kon-kau, once a large and powerful tribe, and probably the best representatives of this nation. All these tribes, in giving their full designation, add the word Maidu (282).



Hill, Dorothy


The Indians of Chico Rancheria

U.S. Treaty with Indians, 1851

The U.S. Congress, attempting to hold the conflict between the Indians and whites to a minimum, enacted legislation in September 1850 authorizing treaties with the California Indians whereby the latter would be guaranteed reservations and some economic aid. The Indians were guaranteed strips of land as reservations as well as some annual government aid, and in return for these concessions, they were to stay on their reservations (page 20).

On August 1, 1851 the headmen of the nearby territories of Mechoopda, Eskuin, Hololupi, Toto, Sunus, Cheno, Batsi, Yutduc, and Simsawa were called to gather at the Bidwell Rancho on Chico Creek to conclude a treaty of "peace and friendship" with O. M. Wozencraft, U. S. Indian agent. The treaty promised the Indians approximately 227 square miles of land reaching roughly from Chico to Nimshew to Oroville (page 20).

For and on behalf of the To-to (WE-NO-KE) (page 21).


Conflict of 1851-1863

Almost immediately after the Federal Treaty of 1851, the California State Senate appointed a committee to look into the treaties and the Governor decided to oppose any law that gave Indians exclusive right to foothill land that was high in gold bearing quartz or to valley land that was valuable to the settlers and farmers. One year later, 1852, the U.S. Senate secretly rejected all the treaties, but did not attempt to move Indians out of the state. Instead, they authorized a reservation at Nome Lackie, land lying twenty miles west of Tehama. McGowan states the reservation was authorized in 1853, opened in 1854 and received Indians from Marysville and Yuba City in 1855 (page 23).

In Butte County in 1853, forty Indians died of pneumonia at a little rancheria near Cherokee. Cook estimated that there were twenty rancherias in Butte County in 1853 (page 23).

John A. Clark, grandson of Captain Busche, chief of Konkau Indians (page 26).

Nopanny 20 year old female day laborer listed in 1860 census for Chico Rancheria Indians, Chico Township (page 29).

All the Indians in the hills were notified to be at the Bidwell Rancheria on August 28, 1863, to be taken to Round Valley Reservation at Covelo in Mendicino County. If any Indians were found after that date, they would be shot on sight. Agents collected 220 Indians from Yankee Hill, 30 from Oroville, 53 from Cherokee, 65 from Johnson's Ranch, 28 from Dogtown (Magalia), and 39 from Rock Creek for a total of 435 Indians with only 13 known exceptions. The 435 Indians were placed under Major Hooker's control in Chico as prisoners of war (page 36).


John Clark, descendant of a Konkau Chief (page 37).

In a letter from George Hanson to Bidwell The Concow, Yankee Hill, and Oroville are all listed as separate tribes (page 39).

Suwomine, the daughter of the Konkau headman had a Hawaiian husband, Keaala (page 39). A listing of Chico Rancheria Indians and their former tribal affiliation located on page 84. 8 people were listed as Maidu Konkau: Mary Azbill, Mrs. Frank Tom, Mrs. Jefferson, Ed Kern,Lady Sacona, Polly Slack, Amanda Wilson, and Sandy Wilson.


Filtering back to Butte County and Incidents, 1863-1868

By February 1864, some Indians had left Round Valley and returned to their former homes. (Concow Valley, Little Nimshew, Flea Valley) Keaala and Suwomine may have been in this group of Indians. They returned to his wife's Konkau village. About fifteen years later, Keaala's daughter, Mary Azbill asked and received permission from Bidwell to live on the Chico Rancheria (page 43).

New conflicts between Indians and settlers began after Indians were reported returning from the Round Valley Reservation to the area of Magalia and Nimshew (page 43).

Mrs. Amanda Wilson, a long time resident of Bidwell's rancheria, was interviewed by Voegelin in 1936 and reported that her mother and her maternal grandparents were of the Indian group in the vicinity of Oroville, and her father was white. Francis Densmore added other information about Amanda Wilson. She recorded that Amanda belonged to the Konkau triblet (probably the earlier location of her family) (page 25).


 Hill, Dorothy


Maidu Use of Native Flora and Fauna

Fieldwork accomplished between 1967 and 1971. She obtained information from Henry Azbill, Lilly Baker, Bryan Beavers, Tom Epperson, Mary Wagner Jones, Frank Joseph, Bill Josephson, Bill Logan, Lena Martin, Selina Mullins, Clarence Potts, Rose Salem, Marie Bain Van Syckle, Edgar Wagner, and Herbert Young.




 Roberts, Helen H.


Concow-Maidu Indians of Round Valley; 1926. Association for Northern California Records and Research. Occasional Publication Number Five. Chico, CA. Dorothy J. Hill, ed.

The Kim'shu Indians were close relatives of the Concow. The Kim'shu language is a close relative of the Concow. (page 16).


 Merriam, C. Hart


Reports of the University of California Archaeological Survey No. 68, Part III. Ethnographic Notes on California Indian Tribes III. Ethnological Notes on Central California Indian Tribes. Robert F. Heizer, ed. University of California Archaeological Research Facility. Berkeley. December 1967.

Midoo; pages 305-322

East of Chico the Mi-chop-do claim only a few miles, stating that the settlements of Magalia, Yankee Hill, and Cherokee were within the territory of the Ti'-mah or Foothills tribe (page 314).



Merriam, C. Hart and Zenaida Merriam Talbot


Boundary Descriptions of California Indian Stocks and Tribes. Archaeological Research Facility. Department of Anthropology Berkeley. Robert F. Heizer, ed.


Merriam indicates three groups: the Northern, Central, and Southern.

The Northern he lists as Mitchopodo and Notokoiyo, the Central as Kon-kow or Timah, Tahn-kum, Kow-wahk, and Kum-mo-win, the Southern (Nissenan) as To-sim-me-nan, Ho-mah, Nis-sim Pa-we-nan, and Nis-se-nan (page 16).

The Kon-kow or Timah: just east of the Michopdo; a foothill tribe extending north to Yanah, south to Oroville and east to North Fork Feather River (page 16). The Tahn-kum (may be band of Kon-kow); north of Honcut region (page 17).

Kow-wahk; foothills between American River (north of Notomusse and Nis-sim Pa-we-nan) and Yuba River and on northeast to include French Corral, San Juan and Challenge and up into and over Sierras south of Kom-mowin to Middle Fork Yuba Region (page 17).

Kum-mo-win; drainage of Middle Fork Feather River and South Fork Feather River. West to North Fork Feather River; (Mooretown and Enterprise dialects slightly different) east to Mohawk Valley (Blairsden) (page 17).


 Kroeber A. L.


Basic Report On California Indian Land Holdings. In California Indians IV. New York: Garland Publishing Inc.

Group ownership of land: triblet and tribe. In aboriginal times all the Indians of California belonged to definite groups. These groups were characterized by a sense of cohesion; each formed a unit. People belonged to one or another. There was never doubt as to which group an individual was a member of. In second place, each group was autonomous or self-governing, in naive opinion. And in third place, each group claimed, and was admitted by others, to own and use a certain territory (page 8).

However, the size of the characteristic groups over most of California was much smaller than of the groups in most of the present United States and Canada. In most of this vast area, the group we are accustomed to think of as characteristic is 'the tribe.' Now a tribe might have only a few hundred members, but more often it had a thousand or two thousand, and would run up from there to three of four or five thousand. Around these higher figures something seemed to set an upper limit to cohesiveness. The result is that instead of tribes of ten or fifteen or twenty thousand people, in the aboriginal United States, we are likely to find clusters of several related tribes from two to four thousand each. Such then was the characteristic tribe among American Indians generally (page 8).

In California, however, the number of members of 'a tribe' did not run up to even a few thousand... but in California the population of the typical group which felt itself to be a unit, that was self-governing, and that owned a definite territory, was measured by hundreds rather than thousands (page 9).


 Susman, Amelia


The Round Valley Indians of California: An Unpublished Chapter in Acculturation in Seven (or Eight) American Indian Tribes. Contributions of the University of California Archaeological Research Facility Number 31. Department of Anthropology University of California Berkeley.

The Aboriginal Community (1856 to 1873)

The Concow Maidu (Penution) page 2

Austin McLaine Concow Maidu and Chilean page 2

Maidu; highly developed ritualism page 7

Among the Maidu the secret society which the chief was a member of had greater political power than he page 7

The Shamans had explicit political power only among the Maidu page 8

The Maidu would initiate an incorrigible man into the secret society and give him responsibilities page 8

The Maidu had elaborated a winter cycle of dances, an annual burning of property in honor of the dead of the year and several first fruits ceremonies page 9

At the Maidu "burning," which was carried on



Francis A. Riddell Keepsake


The term Maidu as used here refers to those people also known as the Mountain maidu or Northeastern Maidu, while the term Konkow refers only to the Northwestern Maidu.

Maidu was spoken with little dialect differentiation by people living in the high mountain meadows lying between Lassen Peak and the town of Quincy some 50 miles to the south and east.

Konkow, however was spoken in a number of dialects along the lower reaches of the Feather River Canyon, in the surrounding hills, and in the adjacent parts of the Sacramento Valley. The

Nisenan occupied the remainder of the area generally north of the south fork of the American River and east of the Sacramento River.

Within the Maiduan area, the dialects, in general, were quite closely related. However, the above-mentioned three forms of speech were mutually unintelligible at first contact.


 Forbes, Kari L.


An Ethnographic Study Of The Contemporary Values Of The Foothill Konkow, Butte County, California. United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, California Department of Forestry and California Parks and Recreation.

The Contemporary Konkow people divide themselves into six different groups. These include the Na Tok Ya, the North People who live near Bucks Lake; the Eski monica, the people who live between the Middle Fork of the Feather River to the town of Challenge and# are associated with the Enterprise Rancheria; the Taime who live in the area ranging from Stringtown Mountain to Walker's Plain these people are associated with Berry Creek Rancheria; the Tanka those who lived in the Feather Falls area and are associated with Mooretown Rancheria, and the Toku are Valley People who lived in the area ranging from Stringtown Mountain to Chico. The informants that were interviewed could not remember the name of the sixth group of people, but this author speculates that they are the Pulga people who lived in the area ranging from Pulga to the Paradise area and are known as the Nimshew (pages 4-5).

Archaeological, as well as linguistic evidence supports the view that the Foothill KonKow came from the north to the Nisenan territory and then ventured northward to the present Konkow area. Maidu speakers entered California sometime around A.D. 500 (Kowta 1988:190). (page 18)

From the North, the Proto-Maiduan speakers migrated toward interior Central California toward what is considered ethnographic Nisenan territory. It was there that they remained until about A.D. 800. The population gradually grew while some of the Maidu population migrated north to Konkow territory (Kowta 1988:190). Archeological evidence of initial Konkow occupation of their homeland is demonstrated at the site of Tie-Wah (CA-Butte-84), in the vicinity of Lake Oroville (Ritter 1968). The cultural occupation for the site has been divided into four complexes: Mesilla (1200 B.C. - 500 B.C.); Bidwell (500 B.C. - A.D. 500); Sweetwater (A.D. 500 -A.D. 1500); and Oroville (A.D. 1500 - ethnographic present). The archaeological record reveals an increase in acorn utilization and a "refinement of the material 167; A Sweetwater (Kowta 1988:152). It has been postulated that the arrival of the Konkow occurred during this complex and the archaeological site of Tie-Wah gives substantial evidence that the Konkow have occupied their ethnographic territory since at least A.D. 800 (Kowta 1988: 186). (page 18)

In addition to archaeological and linguistic evidence, Kowta (1988) in his enlightening summary of Konkow prehistory, utilizes Konkow mythology to support his migration view. He demonstrates that the creation myth recounted by Dixon (1905) discusses "First Beings" as coming from the north, then settling in southern Maidu territory where the ""first People" were created at Sutter Buttes (Kowta 1988: 189). (page 18).

Earliest recorded contact between trapper-adventurers and native people began in the early 1800s. Gabriel Moraga was one of the earliest explorers in Konkow territory, in 1808. Reportedly on October 10, Moraga met fifty-two Maidu near the Sutter Buttes (Cutter 1975: 19). Padre Arbella, in 1811, made exploratory expeditions into the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys, where he came into contact with the Konkow (Dixon 1905: 129). Captain Lewis Arguello was apparently the next explorer in the region, and subsequently named the Feather River (Riddell 1978: 385). (page 19)

Euro-American contact increased throughout the 1820s, as parties of trappers became extremely interested in the northern Sacramento Valley. For example, in 1828 Jedediah Smith and a party of trappers spent approximately six months with the Konkow. Other trappers were sent to the Konkow territory by the Hudson Bay Company between 1828-1836. Trappers Michael Lafromboise and John Work spent the winter of 1833 camped within Konkow territory (Riddell 1978: 385). (page 19).

Diseases that were introduced by Euro-Americans brought devastation to the Konkow, and many individuals died during the 1830s as a result. For example, in 1833 a malaria epidemic swept through Konkow villages, killing an estimated 800 individuals (Cook 1976: 322) (Page 19)

By 1841, two United States expeditions had sent boats to the Konkow villages, one led by Captain Charles Wilkes, the other led by Lt. Commandant Renjgold. In 1848, gold was discovered in California and miners flooded the Konkow country. By 1849, the Konkow territory was overrun by gold seekers and the accompanying settlers. The Konkow quickly became aliens in their own land, for as traditional food sources became scarce because of the lack of habitat, they had to settle for jobs as ranch hands or as laborers for the gold prospectors (Riddell 1978: 385). Because of these new conditions under which the Konkow were forced to live. (page 19-20) Cultural conflicts naturally occurred between the two groups. One instance occurred with native people stealing mules and cattle as a food source from nearby farms and ranches. As a result, some white townspeople felt that the native people had to be taught a lesson - in retaliation a party of white men destroyed a Konkow village, killing five or six individuals before the rest fled to the hills. (Delano 1854: 273) (page 20).

In 1850, the government attempted to end the conflict between the Indians and the whites by creating treaties to place the Indians on reservations. During 1850-51, Indian agent Oliver Wozencraft was sent to negotiate with all the Maiduan groups. The Foothill Konkow signed a treaty which would have given them a portion of their homeland in addition to governmental financial assistance. Senators from California, however, under pressure from the white populace, opposed ratification and the treaties were never signed (page 20).

Trouble continued throughout the 1850s as numerous diseases continued to decimate the Konkow population. It has been estimated that by 1853, in twenty Butte County rancherias, 800 Konkow died from pneumonia, influenza, tuberculosis, small pox, and cholera (Hill 1978:23). Furthermore, outbreaks of violence continued to occur


Francis A Riddell; The Maidu and the Konkow


The Konkow were divided into several village communities: Kewsayoma'a, Yunoma'a and Totoma'a. The latter two, along with several others now forgotten, composed a larger unit called Tie . (page 5)

Differences recognized by the people themselves stem from language and locational considerations. All people have an ability to see themselves as the center of the universe and different from their neighbors. To an outsider, however, the differences are difficult to perceive when the life style and cultural inventory are essentially the same. (page 6)

A settlement pattern of "village communities" (Kroeber 1925:398) served as the only political organization of the Maidu. A village community was recognized as an autonomous unit and consisted of several adjacent villages. (page 7)

Among the Maidu and the Konkow, this headman was primarilly an advisor and spokesman (Dixon 1905:224) The separate villages were self sufficient and not under any strict political control by the community headman. (page 7)

A village community owned and defended a known territory which was a common hunting and fishing ground for all members of the community. Because the Konkow, in the northwestern foothills, settled in a more widely dispersed pattern along river canyons, the territory of a single community was less obvious (Kroeber 1925:397-398) (page 7)


Sociopolitical organization

The group headman played a relatively minor role in village community organization and was not selected by inheritance. Rather , he was chosen through the aid of a shaman who conveyed the choice of the spirits to the people. The chief was chosen for his maturity, wealth, ability, and

generosity. He could also be removed by the word of the shaman, again a messenger of the spirits (Dixon 1905:223-224). (page 21)

The Konkow chief was primarilly an advisor and he was responsible to a council composed of elder members of the Kuksu Cult. (Voegelin 1949:106) (page 21)

The shaman was an important figure in the Maidu and Konkow society. Since there was no complete political organization, the shaman, with his mysterious powers and spiritual communication provided a sense of unity among the village community. He functioned in the festivals, Kuksu Cult, ceremonies and dances, political relations with other tribes, and served as medical doctor, capable of healing the sick or causing sickness to fall upon an individual or entire village. (page 35)

Among the Konkow there was a tendency towards hereditary shamanism, although there were defined methods for a person to become a shaman without ancestral lines. The Konkow distinguished between dream shamans who held assemblies in the dance house which were primarilly clairvoyant proceedings and the doctor shamans who possessed the greater powers of healing or of causing sickness. (page 35)

Among the Konkow there was also the Kuksu Cult , the leader of which was also a powerful shaman. The Cult functioned primarilly as a ceremonial and dance organization rather than as a group involved in tribal politics or warfare. The Kuksu Cult had spirit impersonations and followed a dance cycle in which dances were representative of the different spirits. The dances began with the Hesi dance which was celebrated in Late September or early October. This feast lasted three to four days and only men were allowed to participate. (page 36).


Indian & White Relations

Maidu and Konkow life was little affected by white contact until after the gold discovery at Coloma.in 1849. (page 39)


Questions or Comments ?
email eric@maidu.com




Curtis, Edward S.

The North American Indian Volume 14. New York: Johnson Reprint Corporation.


Duncan, John Whitfield

Maidu Ethnobotany (Masters Thesis). Sacramento: California State University, Sacramento.


Forbes, Kari L. 

An Ethnographic Study Of The Contemporary Values Of The Foothill Konkow, Butte County, California. United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, California Department of Forestry and California Parks and Recreation.


Hill, Dorothy

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----------------.“The Politics of the 1859 Kibbe Campaign: Northern California Indian-Settler Conflicts of the 1850s,” California [Territorial Quarterly], (August, 1999). Second in a series, pp. 4-37.

----------------.“John Bidwell and the Rancho Chico Indian Treaty of 1852,” California [Dogtown] Territorial Quarterly. (August 2000) Third in a series, pp. 4-39. .

---------------.“Chico’s Confederate Sympathizers v. John Bidwell: Indian War Politics, 1860-1865,”
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