The Delaware were often called the “Grandfathers” because they were respected by other tribes as peacemakers and often served to settle disputes between rivaling tribes. They were also known for being fierce and tenacious warriors when they had to fight, however, they preferred to be peaceful.
The Delaware Indians were originally known as the Lenape or Lenni Lenape Indians, the name they called themselves. The American colonists named them the Delaware Indians. Original homelands: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.
Why did the Lenape people accept the name “ Delaware ”? It has long been known that the name applied to the Native people who lived along the Delaware River was taken from the title of an Englishman, Lord de la Warr, whose name was Sir Thomas West.
The Lenape had three clans: the Wolf, the Turtle, and the Turkey. These clans were matrilineal, the children traced their clan through their mother.
The Delaware Indians were farming people. Lenape women did most of the farming, harvesting corn, squash and beans. Lenape men went hunting for deer, elk, turkeys, and small game, and caught fish in the rivers and inlets.
On July 28, 2009, The United States Department of the Interior notified the tribal office in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, that the Delaware are again a federally recognized tribe.
What does ” Delaware ” mean? The name ” Delaware ” originates from the Delaware River and Bay, which were named in honor of Sir Thomas West (Lord De La Warr), the first governor of the English colony at Jamestown, Virginia in 1610.
Their land, called Lenapehoking, included all of what is now New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, southeastern New York State, northern Delaware and a small section of southeastern Connecticut. Today, Lenape communities live all across North America.
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.
Go to the Talking Dictionary! Lenape is an eastern Algonquian language originally spoken in eastern Pennsylvania, southeastern New York, all of New Jersey, and northern Delaware. This brief introductory section provides some examples of the Lenape language.
The Lenni- Lenape (or simply “ Lenape ”) are the ancient root of many other American Indian nations. The Lenape homeland included all of New Jersey, northern Delaware, eastern Pennsylvania, and southeastern New York.
The Lenape were a deeply religious people and their belief in a Creator and eleven lessor Gods reached all aspects of their lives. They believed that all things had souls.
In their language, the words Lenni Lenape mean “men of men,” or, “original people.” Every band had a sachem or chief chosen by certain women called chiefmakers.
Most Lenape Indians were driven out of their homeland by the British. Here is a partial map of the forced travels of the Lenape Indians. The Americans eventually relocated them to Oklahoma, where the modern Delaware Indian tribes are located today. Other Lenape people joined the Nanticoke or Munsee Delawares.
The history of our tribe in its homeland goes back over 10,000 years. We are the descendants of those Nanticoke and Lenape who remained, or returned, to our ancient homeland after many of our relatives suffered removals and forced migrations to the mid-western United States or into Canada.