digitally remastered mixed media painting
copyright by the artist
THE LEGEND OF PUCHANO
The story of Pe-uch-ano as found on the Maidu.com website relates how
the Maidu in their wanderings had gone far from We-lu-da, their ancestral
homeland. Through the prayers and leadership of Pe-uch-ano and his wife
Um-wa-na-ta they crossed over the Trinity River and finally returned to
We-lu-da. The Trinity is called Ani-ka-to in the Koncow Maidu language.
Ani-ka-to is the Konkow Maidu 'River Jordan.'
The Konkow Valley people also believe that a Christ-like teacher of wisdom
named Yane-ka-num-ka-la came at one time to teach the people. He was
later followed by two men from the cold reaches of the north--the realm
of Yu-dic-na. These latter two men were also spiritual teachers of the
In the teachings of the Nome Cult of Konkow Valley 'Sahm' is the name
given to the great destructive fire sent by the Great Spirit to punish
mankind for wrongdoings. Pe-uch-ano and his wife were legendarily two
lone survivors of Sahm, which anciently came to destroy the land. The
children of Pe-uch-ano and Um-wa-na-ta became the progenitors of the
renewed Koncow people. The children of Pe-uch-ano and his wife took
them at their last request to see the flowerland of We-lu-da beyond the
The Maidu apparently dwelled not far from Mt. Shasta in the old days;
other legends of the Maidu also speak of Shasta, which is called 'Kom'
in the Maidu language. Was the realm of Yu-dic-na related to the snowy
peak of Mt. Shasta? An interesting question.
The Trinity River is far north of Butte County; there is evidence that the
Maidu people may have had a nomadic history, having travelled through
various parts of California. Some speculate that they are related to the
Reed Boat Builders, who are a group distantly linked to the Mayans of
the far south. Other speculations say that they are involved in migrations
through Utah. Others accounts say they moved down from Oregon. The
Reed Boat People are referred to as the Penutians. Other tribal groups,
such as the Hopi Indians, have a whole mythos built around the subject
of migration, which to them is a sacred manifestation of the cosmic order
Despite the varying views as to the distant origins of the People, there is
no dispute as to their Butte County heritage, which is well established
as a part of California history. The Mooretown site has been dated at
3500 years of continuous habitation, for example.
TO READ MORE ABOUT THE MAIDU INDIANS SEE: