37 Facts About Lenape


Today, Lenape people belong to the Delaware Nation and Delaware Tribe of Indians in Oklahoma; the Stockbridge–Munsee Community in Wisconsin; and the Munsee-Delaware Nation, Moravian of the Thames First Nation, and Delaware of Six Nations in Ontario.

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Lenape have a matrilineal clan system and historically were matrilocal.

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However, in 2002, the Lenape Nation received grant money to fund The Lenape Talking Dictionary, preserving and digitizing the Southern Unami dialect.

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Lenape had three clans at the end of the 17th century, each of which historically had twelve sub-clans:.

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Iroquoians adopting Lenape were known to be part of their religious beliefs, the adopted one taking the place in the clan of one killed in warfare.

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Lenape practiced companion planting, in which women cultivated many varieties of the "Three Sisters": maize, beans, and squash.

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The Lenape arranged contacts between the Minquas or Susquehannocks and the Dutch West India Company and Swedish South Company to promote the fur trade.

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The Lenape were major producers of labor intensive wampum, or shell beads, which they traditionally used for ritual purposes and as ornaments.

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The Lenape adorned themselves with various ornaments made of stone, shell, animal teeth, and claws.

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One of the more common activities of leisure for the Lenni Lenape would be the game of Pahsaheman: a football-like hybrid, split on gender lines.

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These gender-split rules highlight how a woman's role in Lenape society was harmonious to a man's role, rather than acquiescent.

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The Lenape found uses in trees like black walnut which were used to cure ringworm and with persimmons which were used to cure ear problems.

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Lenape carry the nuts of Aesculus glabra in the pocket for rheumatism, and an infusion of ground nuts mixed with sweet oil or mutton tallow for earaches.

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The explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano was greeted by local Lenape who came by canoe, after his ship entered what is called Lower New York Bay.

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The Lenape trapped and traded beaver pelts for European-made goods.

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At the time of sustained European contact in the 1600s and 1700s, the Lenape were a powerful Native American nation who inhabited a region on the mid-Atlantic coast spanning the latitudes of southern Massachusetts to the southern extent of Delaware in what anthropologists call the Northeastern Woodlands.

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Lenape had a culture in which the clan and family controlled property.

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On top of this kinship terms commonly used by European settlers had very different meanings to the Lenape: "fathers" did not have the same direct parental control as in Europe, "brothers" could be a symbol of equality but could be interpreted as one's parallel cousins, "cousins" were interpreted as only cross-cousins, etc.

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The colony had a short life, as in 1632 a local band of Lenape killed the 32 Dutch settlers after a misunderstanding escalated over Lenape defacement of the insignia of the Dutch West India Company.

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Subsequently, the Lenape became subjugated and made tributary to first the Susquehannocks, then the Iroquois, even needing their rivals' agreement to initiate treaties such as land sales.

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The Lenape who produced wampum in the vicinity of Manhattan Island temporarily forestalled the negative effects of the decline in trade.

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Lenape population fell sharply during this period, due to high fatalities from epidemics of infectious diseases carried by Europeans, such as measles and smallpox, to which they had no natural immunity.

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The Moravian Lenape who settled permanently in Ontario after the American Revolutionary War were sometimes referred to as "Christian Munsee", as they mostly spoke the Munsee branch of the Delaware language.

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In 1763, Bill Hickman, Lenape, warned Anglo-American colonists in the Juniata River region of an impending attack.

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Many Lenape joined in Pontiac's War, and were numerous among those Native Americans who besieged Pittsburgh.

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Many Lenape did adopt Christianity, but others refused to do so.

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The Lenape became a divided people during the 1770s, including in Killbuck's family.

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The Lenape had lost their protectors and found themselves without solid allies in the conflict, which compounded their dispossession at the hand of encroaching American pioneers during and after the war.

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Some Lenape decided to take up arms against the American settlers and moved to the west, closer to Detroit, where they settled on the Scioto and Sandusky rivers.

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Lenape were the first Indian tribe to enter into a treaty with the new United States government, with the Treaty of Fort Pitt signed in 1778 during the American Revolutionary War.

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The initial Lenape response was negative; in 1798, Lenape community leaders Bartholomew Calvin, Jason Skekit, and 18 others signed a public statement of refusal to leave "our fine place in Jersey.

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Lenape took many scalps in this adventure, including that of a Comanche with a particularly fine horse, who had outrun both Sagundai and the other Comanche.

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Lenape sought the services of the friendly Delaware and, in 1837, enlisted several Delaware to protect the frontier from hostile western tribes.

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Lenape considered them illegal intruders who threatened the settlers' safety and lands and issued an order for their removal from Texas.

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Three Lenape tribes are federally recognized in the United States.

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Lenape who fled United States in the late 18th century settled in what is Ontario.

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Contemporary notable Lenape people are listed in the articles for the appropriate tribe.

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