by Eric Whollem
copyright by the artist
'One Feather Postage' From Maidem Kodom
When I first began to create this series of stamps to celebrate the
culture of the Concow Maidu, I followed suit with the practice of many
faux postage stamp creators and included a $1 denomination. The later
stamps in the series are denominated 'One Feather.'
THE CONCOW MAIDU LANGUAGE, GRASS GAMES, ETC.
'Maidem Kodom' means 'Land of the People' in the Maidu language.
Adrian Smith, former head of the Butte County Tribal Council, once
said to me back in the 1980's: "To know the language is to know the
Today the Mooretown Rancheria near Oroville has had the last of
the native speakers teach courses in the local dialect, so as to help
preserve the continuity of traditions. Mooretown is the old name for
a logging town that once existed on Mooretown Ridge. The town of
Feather Falls came later, another logging town; it also has passed
away, having been dismantled by the logging company that owned
Currently the center of 'town' in Feather Falls is near the Gold
Flake Bar, which houses the post office, etc. Although the original
Mooretown Rancheria was up on Mooretown Ridge, the modern
Mooretown Rancheria is in the valley today.
The Berry Creek Maidu have their own establishment in the valley
today as well. The Berry Creek Maidu have their own tribal connections;
but have always interacted with the Feather Falls people in the sacred
communion of the Grass Games.
Martin, a Concow Maidu of Berry Creek, once invited me to the Grass
Games in Bald Rock. There were only three folks from Feather Falls
present: Ralph Martin, myself, and an elderly lady--or as is said in
the Concow Maidu language, 'essu'--'old woman.' At these Grass Games
everyone sings gaming songs in the traditonal language. I met Martin
(of Berry Creek) in the warehouse of the Pacific Coast Producers
Cannery in Oroville, where we both were employees. Martin knew
a lot about making paints from earth pigments; and he related to
me stories about the traditional uses of earth paint.
The Maidu language has three main subdivisions: Concow Maidu
for Butte County--the West People. Mountain Maidu for the region
of Plumas County and north towards Susanville. And the Nisenan
Maidu of Nevada County to the south.
Readers intersted in the Kuksu Dream Religion may want to read these posts:
A VIDEO ABOUT
My posts on the Maidu Indians can be accessed on this link:
Artist stamps, artistamps, cinderella stamps, cyberstamps, fantasy stamps, faux postage, mail art, micronation stamps. Mythographic art; mythology; Kuksu; Feather Falls.