About the Lenni-Lenape Tribe/Nation

The Lenape or Delaware Indians are a group of Native Americans from the Northeastern areas of the United States.  Lenape means “people”, Lenni Lenape means “real people”, “human beigns”, or “true people”.  They were the original inhabitants of Delaware, New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, and Southern New York.  They were the caretakers of these lands and of  The River of Human Beings, also know as the  Delaware River, for over 10,000 years .  The Lenape were also the first tribe to sign a treaty with the United States and the first tribe to have land set aside for them in New Jersey.  During the 16th and 17th centuries, around the time the Europeans arrived, they lived in an area referred to as Lenapehoking, the areas around and between the lower Hudson Rivers all the way to Delaware, settling mostly in the lower Hudson Valley area, Upper New York Bay, Staten Island and the Western parts of Long Island.  They spoke Unami and Munsee, known as the Delaware languages.  Many Lenape people were removed and dispersed throughout the country during a period of 250 years.   A large number of Lenape families remained in the homelands and continue the traditions.  Today most of them are living in Canada where they are enrolled in three seperate nations, and the ones living in the United States are enrolled in three federally recognized tribes, still,...The Lenape are not recognized in many states.   Their society is clan organized and clans are determined by matrilineal descent. 

The Lenape practiced agriculture, hunting, seafood harvesting and every season would move to a different campsites.   Lenape and other native people became so involved in the North American Fur Trade that they depleted the beaver population in the region.  It became a disaster for both the Lenape and the Dutch settlers.  To make matters worse The Lenape were infected with deceases and pushed out of their lands by Iroquoian enemies, overcrowding of European settles and treaties.  They moved to the west into the the Ohio River Valley and most Lenape that remained in the the Eastern parts of the United States were sent to the Oklahoma Territory.  These days, some Lenape communities are found in Ontario, Kansas, Wisconsin and most reside in the state of Oklahoma or their traditional homelands.

The Lenape knew medicine extremely well, herbalists had knowledge of the healing properties of plants and the methods of preparing them and administering plants as medicine.  Most Lenape herbalists were woman.   They did not only heal humans but animals as well.   Lenape were very selective about the plants they chose for healing, and they gathered only what was needed.    They only chose plants that were well developed and clean, mostly barks and plant roots were used.  Barks were selected from healthy sturdy well formed trees and roots had to be grown freely from knots.   They believed bark from the east side of the tree were best because it received strength giving properties from the morning sun.    The Lenape also believed, plants should not be placed near or in contact with metal objects in order to avoid contaminations.

The Lenape are still taking care of our land.

“We have Lenape caves right here, in our backyard, next to the waterfall.   We feel like ancient explorers and archeologists on this property.  It is very magical.  When we first bought the house, we were like kids in a candy shop, we still are.   During one of those hot summer days, after a long day of working on the property, we decide to enjoy our waterfall for the first time.  We put on our bathing suits and walked down the waterfall.  As we walked next to the caves, I heard something out  of the ordinary, I had to stop and listen to what sounded like far away echoes and whispers.   I heard something.  I was not scared, I felt rather safe and did not mention a thing to William.   40 minutes later, we’re going up the waterfall and as we’re passing the caves, I asked William, if he happened to hear anything like echoes and whispers when walking next to the caves, he said, “yes”.   We both heard the same thing.   The energy here, is amazing, so pure, so warm, and so relaxing.     This land is very special to us and i firmly feel that our property is well protected and in very good hands.  I am so fascinated by The Lenapy Tribe that I started to write about it and shortly will be working on an independent film to share with the world.  There is so much forgotten history, and this one, just hits to close to home.  


To learn more about the fascinating Lenape Tribe, please go to google and search Lenape.

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