The first people who lived in Nevada County were the Maidu Indians. The women were skilled basket weavers. They were migratory, traveling down to the Sacramento Valley and up to the High Sierras. The Maidu did not have a complex technological culture, but their kinship structure like that of practically all Native American kinship structures that we know about, was certainly more complex than that of the modern-day average American.

The Madiu Indians were hunters and gatherers. They were also skilled basket makers of the highest quality, weaving highly detailed and useful baskets in sizes ranging from thimble-sized to huge ones ten or more feet in diameter . Some of the quality of their work is that the stitches on the baskets are so fine you need a magnifying glass to be able to view them clearly

Maidu Indians lived in 74 villages which stretched roughly from the Nevada state line, over the mountains, and down into the low Sacramento Valley foothills. In 1844, most of the land to which the Maidu were native was given in a grant to a white settler who was a cattle rancher. The cattle destroyed the Maidu's food sources, and many died of hunger. More Maidu people perished during smallpox epidemics brought to the area by white gold miners. Survivors of the epidemics resorted to eating livestock in order to prevent starvation. White settlers hunted down members of this group and killed them. In a treaty signed by the Maidu and federal officials, ancestral Maidu lands were signed over in exchange for the safety of a reservation. The government failed to honor this treaty and ordered soldiers to remove the Maidu from reservation lands. One hundred and sixty-one Maidu were forcibly marched from their reservation to Round Valley in northern California. During this march thirty-two people died.
Today the Maidu's descendants live on small reservations in California or in communities near these reservations.

The Maidu Dedicated to the Maidu Peoples Past and Present
The Northern Maidu History of the Maidu Tribe
Maidu Indians Maidu Indians of Northern California
Maidu By ES Curtis
Maidu Indians