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 This article is a start-class article. It needs further improvement to obtain good article status. This article is part of Altverse II.
Maidu dance.jpg
Kaioyu performers in 1937
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Flag of Sierra.svg Sierra (Flag of Plumas.svg Plumas, Flag of Shasta.svg Shasta, Flag of Tahoe.svg Tahoe)
English, Kaioyu (Maidu)
Christianity (Protestantism)
Related ethnic groups
other Maidu people
The Kaioyu are an Amerindian people of northwestern Sierra. They are indigenous to the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada in the provinces of Shasta, Plumas, and Tahoe. The Kaioyu language is part of the Maiduan languages group. The Kaioyu are classified as part of the Eastern Maidu and have been subdivided based on their geographical location and local culture. Today, the majority of Kaioyu live on the Fort Sumter Indian Reservation throughout Cessnock Provincial Forest in Sutter County, Plumas, sharing the land with other Maidu tribes. The Kaioyu are enrolled in four federally recognized tribes, of which the largest is the Fort Sumter Band of Kaioyu Indians. Their autonym is Mik'kayukabba (literally translates as "our people who dig").

Pre-contact Kaioyu were generally hunter gatherers who subsisted mainly on wild game, nuts, berries, acorns, and occasionally fish. Like their other Maidu cousins, the Kaioyu developed an advanced, rich basket-weaving culture and also created pottery, rock art, and basic tools. They interacted with other tribes and peoples through trade. Kaioyu society was centered around the village life, where the hierarchy was centralized under the leadership of religious elders in the Kuksu cult, a monotheistic religion that included spirits. Housing included summer and winter variants, with the latter homes being built and dug semi-underground to protect its dwellers from the winter cold.

During European colonization of Sierra, the Kaioyu interacted and traded with the Dutch-speaking colonists of New Holland and many converted to the Dutch Reformed Church. Contact with outsiders increased as Anglo-American settlers began arriving to Kaioyu lands, leading to violent conflict. The Compact of Sierran-Indian Friendship established reserved lands for the Kaioyu, including the modern Fort Sumter Indian Reservation. Today, the Kaioyu continue to inhabit reservation lands and practice self-government with an elected tribal leadership. Efforts to preserve the Kaioyu culture and language among the youth have been a top priority for the Kaioyu community.

History[edit | edit source]

Language and name[edit | edit source]

Culture[edit | edit source]

Federally recognized tribes[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]