The Maenads were an all female group of followers of the god Dionysus, led by the High Priestess Anysia. They held sacred rites, often involving human sacrifice, in the Temple of Dionysus deep in the Forest of Nysa.
They often took men as sacrifices to the Satyr in order to worship the god. They controlled the Satyrs who were beasts of Dionysus and used them as guards and to kill those who they wanted dead. They also kidnapped girls to force them to become initiates. There they corrupted them using their magical rituals. They guarded their secret rituals to the point where they killed anyone who tried to discover them. Each of them carried a dagger and a bottle of hemlock inscribed with the symbol of Dionysus and where prepared to kill themselves with poison rather than be forced to betray the group. (A Girl By Any Other Name)
In Greek mythology, maenads (/ˈmiːnædz/; Greek: μαινάδες mainádes) were the female followers of Dionysus (Bacchus in the Roman pantheon), and the most significant members of the Thiasus, the god's retinue. Their name literally translates as "raving ones." Often the maenads were portrayed as inspired by Dionysus into a state of ecstatic frenzy, through a combination of dancing and intoxication. During these rites, the maenads would dress in fawn skins and carry a thyrsus, a long stick wrapped in ivy or vine leaves and tipped with a pinecone. They would weave ivy-wreaths around their heads or wear a bull helmet in honour of their god, and often handle or wear snakes