The Lenape or Delaware tribe, also called the Lenni Lenape, are of the Algonquin family and first lived in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York. Traditionally they were divided into the Munsee, Unami, and Unalachtigo, three social divisions determined by language and location.
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.
Like the other tribes in the Northeastern United States, the Lenni Lenape were an agricultural people who also engaged in some gathering of wild plants, hunting, and fishing. Like the other Indian people in this region, they raised corn (maize), beans, squash, sunflowers, and other crops.
The traditional Lenape house was a wigwam, built of saplings and covered with bark or cattail mats. Several families — all related through the female line — could occupy larger dwellings called longhouses. Men cleared land for gardens, did the woodworking, built the houses and made canoes.
The Lenape are considered to be one of the oldest tribes in the Northeast, existing for over 10,000 years. The Lenape lived in what is now New Jersey, and parts of Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and Delaware.
The Lenape, Lenappe, Lenapi or Lenni Lenape (meaning ” the people” or “true people” ) are a group of several bands of Native American people who share cultural and linguistic traits. They are also known as the Delaware Indians.
Like Zunigha, most Lenape today don’t live in New York City or the surrounding area. There are only two federally recognized Delaware tribes in the U.S., and both of them are in Oklahoma, where large groups of the Lenape ended up due to forced migration.
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.
Today, the majority of the Lenape community remains in Oklahoma. Goddard 1978: 213-239. northward from their earlier homes, some to Ontario, Canada, and some to Wisconsin.
Clan Symbols: These represent the three clans of the Lenape: Turtle, Wolf and Turkey.
They lived in villages of round houses called wigwams. Some Lenape Indians preferred longhouses to wigwams, because more family members could live in a longhouse. Lenape men wore breechcloths and legging also made from deer skins.
The water made the dried food swell up and become soft enough to eat. Some Lenape also dug deep, wide holes or storage pits into the earth. Dried meat, dried fish, nuts, and other dried foods were placed in these storage pits. Stored foods helped the Lenape survive the cold winter.
The clothing of the Lenape was simple. The men wore breechclouts and moccasins, with leggings and a robe to cover themselves in cold weather. Women had knee- or calf-length wrap-around skirts and wore fur robes in winter, or a beautiful mantle made from turkey feathers.
The Lenape tribe is known for their Native American beadwork and basketry products. Like other eastern Native Americans, the Leni Lenape also crafted wampum out of white and purple shell beads. Wampum beads were traded as a kind of currency, but they were more culturally important as an art material.