13,500 Unami and 400 Munsee 
|Regions with significant populations|
|United States (Oklahoma, Kansas, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Delaware)|
|Related ethnic groups|
|other Algonquian peoples|
The Lenape (later named Delaware Indians by Europeans) were, in the 17th century, organized bands of Native American peoples with shared cultural and linguistic characteristics. Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples from the regions of North America now encompassed by the continental United States
These are the people who were living in what is now New Jersey and along the Delaware River in Pennsylvania, the northern shore of Delaware, and the lower Hudson Valley and New York Harbor in New York, at the time of the arrival of the Europeans in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries — and some continue to live in this area today. New Jersey ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. The Delaware River is a river on the Atlantic coast of the United States. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ( often colloquially referred to as PA (its abbreviation by natives and Northeasterners is a state located in the Northeastern Delaware ( is a state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. For the Magazine, see Hudson Valley (magazine New York Harbor, a geographic term refers collectively to the rivers bays and tidal estuaries near the mouth of the Hudson River in the vicinity of New York City New York ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States and is the nation's third most populous The start of the European colonization of the Americas is typically dated to 1492 although there was at least one earlier colonization effort Their Algonquian language is known as either Lenape or "Delaware". The Algonquian (also Algonkian, and pronounced both and) languages are a subfamily of Native American languages that includes most of the languages in the Algic The Delaware languages, also known as the Lenape languages, are Munsee and Unami, two closely related languages of the Eastern Algonquian
The Lenape practiced large-scale agriculture to augment a mobile hunter-gatherer society in the region around the Delaware River, the lower Hudson River, and western Long Island Sound. Agriculture refers to the production of goods through the growing of plants and fungi and the raising of domesticated Animals The study of agriculture A hunter-gatherer society is one whose primary subsistence method involves the direct procurement of edible plants and animals from the wild Foraging and Hunting The Hudson River, called Muh-he-kun-ne-tuk, the Great Mohegan by the Iroquois, or as the Lenape Native Americans called it in Unami Long Island Sound is an Estuary of the Atlantic Ocean and various Rivers in the United States that lies between the coast of Connecticut The Lenape were largely a sedentary people who occupied campsites seasonally, resulting in relatively easy access to the small game that inhabited the region: fish, birds, shellfish and deer. They developed sophisticated techniques of hunting and managing their resources. By the arrival of Europeans, the Lenape were cultivating fields of vegetation through the slash and burn technique, which extended the productive life of planted fields. Slash and burn consists of cutting and burning of Forests or Woodlands to create fields for Agriculture or Pasture for Livestock, or They also harvested vast quantities of fish and shellfish from the bays of the area.  The success of these methods allowed the tribe to maintain a larger population than nomadic hunter-gatherers were able to support. Nomadic people, (from the νομάδες nomádes, "those who let pasture herds" also known as nomads, are communities of people that It has been estimated that at the time of European settlement there might have been about 15,000 Lenape total in approximately 80 settlement sites around what is now the New York metropolitan area alone (even though Lenape did not inhabit a good portion of what is now the New York metropolitan area, as eastern Long Island and almost all of what is now Connecticut, for example, were inhabited by different peoples). The New York metropolitan area, often referred to as the Tri-State Area, is the most populous Metropolitan area in the United States and is also one Long Island is an island located in southeastern New York, USA, its western shores directly across from Manhattan, from which the island stretches Connecticut ( is a state located in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. Lenape in canoes met Giovanni da Verrazzano, the first European explorer to enter New York Harbor, in 1524. Giovanni da Verrazzano (c 1485 &ndash c 1528 was an Italian Explorer of North America, in the service of the French crown. New York Harbor, a geographic term refers collectively to the rivers bays and tidal estuaries near the mouth of the Hudson River in the vicinity of New York City
Early Indian "tribes" are perhaps better understood as language groups, rather than as "nations. A nation is a Human Cultural and Social Community. In as much as most members never meet each other yet feel a common bond it may be considered " A Lenape individual would have identified primarily with his or her immediate family and friends, or village unit; then with surrounding and familiar village units; next with more distant neighbors who spoke the same dialect; and ultimately, while often fitfully, with all those in the surrounding area who spoke mutually comprehensible languages, including the Mahican. Mohican redirects here For other uses of Mohican see Mohican (disambiguation The Mahicans (also Mohicans) are a Among other Algonquian peoples the Lenape were considered the "grandfathers" from whom all the other Algonquian peoples originated. The Algonquian (also Algonkian, and pronounced both and) languages are a subfamily of Native American languages that includes most of the languages in the Algic Consequently, in inter-tribal councils, the Lenape were given the respect as one would to their elders.
Those of a different language stock — such as the Iroquois (or, in the Lenape language, the Minqua) — were regarded as foreigners, often, as in the case of the Iroquois, with animosity spanning many generations. The Iroquois Confederacy (also known as the "League of Peace and Power" the "Five Nations" the "Six Nations" or the "People of the Longhouse The Susquehannock people were natives of areas adjacent to the Susquehanna River and its Tributaries from the southern part of what is now New York (Ethnicity seems to have mattered little to the Lenape and many other "tribes," as illustrated by archaeological discoveries of Munsee burials that included identifiably ethnic Iroquois remains carefully interred along with the ethnic-Algonquian Munsee ones. The two groups were bitter enemies since before recorded history, although intermarriage, perhaps through captive-taking, clearly occurred).
Overlaying these relationships was a phratry system, a division into clans. A phratry ( Greek: φ(ρατρία English translation: "brotherhood" "kinfolk" derived from φρατήρ meaning "brother" A clan is a group of People united by Kinship and descent, which is defined by perceived descent from a common ancestor Clan membership was matrilineal, that is, children inherited membership in a clan from their mother. Matrilineality is a system in which lineage is traced through the mother and maternal ancestors "Mom" "Mum" and "Mommy" redirect here On reaching adulthood, a Lenape traditionally married outside of the clan, a practice known by ethnographers as, "exogamy", which effectively served to prevent inbreeding, even among individuals whose kinship was obscure or unknown. Ethnography ( Greek ethnos = people and graphein = writing is a genre of writing that uses Fieldwork to provide a descriptive Exogamy has two related definitions both biological and cultural
Early Europeans who first wrote about Indians found matrilineal social organization to be unfamiliar and perplexing. Because of this, Europeans often tried to interpret Lenape society through more familiar European arrangements. As a result the early records are full of clues about early Lenape society, but were usually written by observers who did not fully understand what they were seeing. For example, a man's closest male ancestor was usually considered to be his maternal uncle (his mother's brother) and not his father, since his father belonged to a different clan. Such a concept was often unfathomable to early European chroniclers.
Land was assigned to a particular clan for hunting, fishing, and cultivation. Individual private ownership of land was unknown, but rather the land belonged to the clan collectively while they inhabited it.  Clans lived in fixed settlements, using the surrounding areas for communal hunting and planting until the land was exhausted, at which point the group moved on to find a new settlement within their territories.
The early interaction between the Lenape and the Dutch was primarily through the fur trade, specifically the exchange of beaver pelts by the Lenape for European-made goods. The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal Fur. The American Beaver ( Castor canadensis) is a large semi-aquatic Rodent native to Canada, much of the United States, and parts of northern
According to Dutch settler Isaac de Rasieres, who observed the Lenape in 1628, the Lenape's primary crop was maize, which they planted in March after breaking up the soil. Maize (ˈmeɪz ( Zea mays L. ssp mays) known as corn in some countries is a cereal grain domesticated in Mesoamerica The metal tools of the Europeans were adopted quickly for this task. In May, the Lenape planted kidney beans in the vicinity of the maize plants which would serve as props for the climbing vines. The summers were devoted to field work and the crops were harvested in August. Most of the field work was carried out by women, with the agricultural work of men limited to clearing the field and breaking the soil.
Hunting was the primary activity during the rest of the year. Dutch settler David de Vries, who stayed in the area from 1634 to 1644, described a Lenape hunt in the valley of the Achinigeu-hach (or "Ackingsah-sack," the Hackensack River), in which one hundred or more men stood in a line many paces from each other, beating thigh bones on their palms to drive animals to the river, where they could be killed easily. Captain David Pietersz de Vries (c 1593, La Rochelle - probably 1662, Hoorn) was a Dutch navigator from Hoorn, Holland The Hackensack River is a river approximately 45 mi (72 km long in the U Other methods of hunting included lassoing and drowning deer, as well as forming a circle around prey and setting the brush on fire.
In 1634, the Susquehannocks went to war with the Lenape over access to trade with the Dutch at Manhattan with the Lenape. Benjamin West RA ( October 10, 1738 – March 11, 1820) was an Anglo - American painter of historical William Penn ( October 14, 1644 – July 30, 1718) was founder and "Absolute Proprietor" of the Province of Pennsylvania, The Susquehannock people were natives of areas adjacent to the Susquehanna River and its Tributaries from the southern part of what is now New York The Lenape were defeated and some scholars believe that the Lenape may have become tributaries to the Susquehannocks.  Afterwards they referred to the Susquehannocks as "uncles". The Iroquois referred to the Delawares as women.
The quick dependence of the Lenape on European goods, and the need for fur to trade with the Europeans, eventually resulted in a disaster with an over-harvesting of the beaver population in the lower Hudson. The fur source thus exhausted, the Dutch shifted their operations to present-day Upstate New York. Upstate New York is the region of New York State north of the core of the New York metropolitan area. The Lenape population fell into disease and decline. Likewise, the differences in conceptions of property rights between the Europeans and the Lenape resulted in widespread confusion among the Lenape and the loss of their lands. Property is any physical or virtual entity that is owned by an individual After the Dutch arrival in the 1620s, the Lenape were successful in their efforts to restrict Dutch settlement to Pavonia in present-day Jersey City along the Hudson until the 1660s, when the Dutch finally established a garrison at Bergen, allowing settlement west of the Hudson within the province of New Netherlands. Pavonia was a settlement on the west bank of the Hudson River in what would become contemporary Hudson County New Jersey that was part of the 17th century province Jersey City is a city in Hudson County, New Jersey, United States. Bergen Square, at the intersection of Bergen Avenue and Academy Streets in Jersey City, is in the southwestern part of the much larger Journal Square district with New Netherland (Dutch Nieuw-Nederland, Latin Novum Belgium or Nova Belgica) 1614–1674 is the name of the former Dutch territory on the eastern coast
The Treaty of Easton, signed between the Lenape and the English in 1766, removed them westward, out of present-day New York and New Jersey and into Pennsylvania, then Ohio and beyond — although sporadic raids on English settlers continued, staged from far outside the area. The Treaty of Easton was a colonial agreement in North America signed in October 1758 in Easton Pennsylvania between the British colonial
The Lenape were the first Indian tribe ever to enter into a treaty with the United States government, with the Treaty of Fort Pitt signed during the American Revolutionary War. The Treaty of Fort Pitt, also known as the' Treaty With the Delawares' or the Fourth Treaty of Pittsburgh, was signed on September 17, 1778 and In this article the inhabitants of the thirteen colonies that supported the American Revolution are primarily referred to as "Americans" with occasional references to "Patriots" The Lenape supplied the Continental Army with warriors and scouts in exchange for food supplies and the promise of a role at the head of a future native American state. The American Continental Army was an Army formed after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the colonies that became the United States of America
In the early nineteenth century, a naturalist named Rafinesque found and reported the existence of the Walam Olum, an alleged religious history of the Lenape, which was published in 1836. Constantine Samuel Rafinesque-Schmaltz, as he is known in Europe ( October 22 1783 - September 18 1840) was a nineteenth-century The Walam Olum, usually translated as "Red Record" or "Red Score" is purportedly a Lenape (also called "Delaware" Native American historical narrative However, only Rafinesque's manuscript exists; the tablets upon which his writings were allegedly based either were never found, or never existed. Some consider the document a hoax.
The Lenape continually were crowded out by European settlers and pressed to move in several stages over a period of 175 years, with the main body arriving in the northeast region of Oklahoma in the 1860s. Oklahoma ( is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. Along the way many smaller groups left, or elected to stay where they were. Consequently today, from New Jersey to Wisconsin to southwest Oklahoma, there are groups which retain a sense of identity with their ancestors that were in the Delaware Valley in the 17th century and with their cousins in the vast Lenape diaspora. New Jersey ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. Wisconsin ( or wɪˈskɑnsɨn (French Ouisconsin) is one of the fifty United States of America, located in the north central part of the United States The two largest are:
Most members of the Munsee branch of the Lenape live on three Indian reservations in Western Ontario, Canada, the largest being that at Moraviantown, Ontario where the Turtle clan settled in 1792. Bartlesville is a city in Washington county in the US state of Oklahoma. Anadarko is a city in Caddo County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 6645 at the 2000 census. An Indian reservation is an area of land managed by a Native American Tribe under the United States Department of the Interior's Bureau Southwestern Ontario is a region of the Canadian province of Ontario, centred on the city of London.
The Oklahoma branches were established in 1867, with the purchase of land by Delawares from the Cherokee nation; two payments totaling $438,000 were made. The Cherokee (ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ a-ni-yv-wi-ya, in the Cherokee language) are a people native to North America, who at the time of European contact A court dispute then followed over whether the sale included rights for the Delaware within the Cherokee nation. In 1898, the Curtis Act dissolved tribal governments and ordered the allotment of tribal lands to individual members of tribes. The Lenape fought the act in the courts but lost: the courts ruling, in 1867, that they had only purchased rights to the land for their lifetimes. The lands were allotted in 160 acre (650,000 m²) lots in 1907, with any land left over sold to non-Indians.
In 1979, the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs revoked the tribal status of the Delaware living among Cherokee in Oklahoma, and included the Delaware as Cherokee. History Although the bureau which was called the Office of Indian Affairs was formed in 1824 similar agencies had existed in the U This decision was finally overturned in 1996. The Cherokee nation then filed suit to overturn the recognition of the Delaware as a tribe.
In 2000, the Delaware Tribe of Western Oklahoma took possession of 11. 5 acres of land in Pennsylvania. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ( often colloquially referred to as PA (its abbreviation by natives and Northeasterners is a state located in the Northeastern The Lenape are not a federally recognized tribe in the United States. The Delaware Tribe of Oklahoma, Bartlesville, is in negotiations to become recognized by the U. S. with the support of the Cherokee Nation, located in Oklahoma also.
The Delawares feature prominently in The Last of the Mohicans and the other Leatherstocking Tales of James Fenimore Cooper. Oklahoma ( is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. Bartlesville is a city in Washington county in the US state of Oklahoma. The Delaware Nation is the only federally recognized tribe of Delawares in Oklahoma; their main complex is located 2 miles north of Anadarko Oklahoma on Anadarko is a city in Caddo County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 6645 at the 2000 census. Kansas ( is a Midwestern state in the central region of the United States of America, an area often referred to as the American " The Christian Munsee were a group of Lenape native American Indians, primarily Munsee who converted to Christianity following the teachings of the Moravian The Ojibwa or Chippewa (also Ojibwe, Ojibway, Chippeway) is the largest group of Native Americans - First Nations Ontario (ɒnˈtɛrioʊ is a province located in the central part of Canada, the largest by population and second largest after Quebec Moravian No 47 is an Indian reserve located in Chatham-Kent Ontario with an area of 13 km² Six Nations of the Grand River is the name applied to two contiguous Indian reserves southeast of Brantford Ontario, Canada &ndash Six Nations reserve The Munsee-Delaware Nation No 1 is an Indian reserve on the Thames River 24 km west of St Wisconsin ( or wɪˈskɑnsɨn (French Ouisconsin) is one of the fifty United States of America, located in the north central part of the United States The Stockbridge-Munsee Community is an Indian Reservation located in Shawano County Wisconsin in the towns of Bartelme and Red Springs. New Jersey ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. The Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape People (also known as Nanticoke Lenape Indians) are a tribal confederation of the core families of the Nanticoke of the Delmarva Peninsula The Ramapough Mountain Indians (also known as Ramapo Mountain Indians or the Ramapough Lenape Nation) are a group of approximately 5000 people living around the Buckongahelas (1720? - May 1805 was a regionally and nationally renowned Lenni-Lenape chief counselor and warrior Captain Pipe (1725 ?-1818 ? also called Hopocan, was an 18th Century chief of the Lenape ( Delaware) Indians and a member of the Wolf Clan Gelelemend (1737–1811 known to whites as Killbuck or John Killbuck Jr Neolin (the Delaware Prophet) was a Prophet of the Lenni Lenape, who was derided by the British as "The Imposter Shingas ( fl 1740–1763 was a leader of the Delaware (Lenape people in the Ohio Country and a noted American Indian warrior on the western William Penn ( October 14, 1644 – July 30, 1718) was founder and "Absolute Proprietor" of the Province of Pennsylvania, Tamaqua is a borough in eastern Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. White Eyes (c1730&ndashNovember 1778 was a leader of the Lenape ( Delaware) people in the Ohio Country during the era of the American Revolution The Last of the Mohicans is a Historical novel by James Fenimore Cooper, first published in January 1826 The Leatherstocking Tales is a series of novels by American Writer James Fenimore Cooper, each featuring the main hero James Fenimore Cooper (September 15 1789 &ndash September 14 1851 was a prolific and popular American writer of the early 19th century
The Delawares are the subject of a legend which inspired the Boy Scouts of America honor society known as the Order of the Arrow. The Boy Scouts of America ( BSA) is the largest youth organization in the United States with over five million The Order of the Arrow ( OA) is the national Honor society of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA
The Walam Olum, which purported to be an account of the Delawares' migration to the lands around the Delaware River, emerged through the works of Rafinesque in the nineteenth century and was considered by scholars for many decades to be genuine, until around the 1980s and 1990s, when newer textual analysis suggested it was a hoax. The Walam Olum, usually translated as "Red Record" or "Red Score" is purportedly a Lenape (also called "Delaware" Native American historical narrative Constantine Samuel Rafinesque-Schmaltz, as he is known in Europe ( October 22 1783 - September 18 1840) was a nineteenth-century Nonetheless, some Delawares, upon hearing of it for the first time, found the account to be plausible.
In Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian the group of American scalphunters are aided by an unspecified number of Delaware Indians (5-6 minimum), who serve as scouts and guides through the western deserts. Cormac McCarthy, born Charles McCarthy (born July 20, 1933 in Providence Rhode Island) is an American Novelist and Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the West is a 1985 Western Novel by American author Cormac McCarthy.
In Philip Roth's 2004 novel, The Plot Against America, there is a brief mention of "a band of Lenni Lenapes" who "were said by… [a] third-grade teacher to have lived" near the protagonists in present-day Newark, New Jersey. Philip Milton Roth (born March 19, 1933, Newark New Jersey) is an American novelist The Plot Against America A Novel (ISBN 0-618-50928-3 is a novel by Philip Roth published in 2004
In The Light in the Forest, True Son is adopted by a band of Lenapes. The Light in the Forest is a Novel first published in 1953 by U
In the 1938 Mark Raymond Harrington book Dickon Among the Indians, a group of Lenapes find a young white child who they then proceeded to raise as their own. The book goes into detail of Lenape life, society, weaponry, and beliefs, and includes a glossary for many Lenape terms used throughout the book.