The Munsee originally occupied the headwaters of the Delaware River in present-day New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, extending south to the Lehigh River, and also held the west bank of the Hudson River from the Catskill mountains nearly to the New Jersey line.
1: a Delaware Indian people of northern New Jersey and neighboring parts of New York west of the Hudson. 2: a member of the Munsee people.
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.
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.
The Munsee were farming people. The women harvested corn, squash and beans, which they called the “three sisters.” Munsee men hunted deer, elk, turkeys, and small game, and went fishing in the lakes and rivers. Munsee Indian recipes included soup, cornbread, meat dumplings and salads.
But there were no Mohicans. And that bit about Uncas dying in 1757 the last of his tribe? He wasn’t even the last of the Uncas line! In 1842, the last descendant of the great Mohegan Chief Uncas finally died: John Uncas, aged 89.
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.
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.
Munsee Consonants Like g in gate. Usually it is pronounced like gw in Gwen, but at the end of a word, it is pronounced more like a g with a puff of air after it. Like h in English hay. Like j in jar.
Click the Lenape word to hear it pronounced. Common Words and Phrases.
|Hè||Hello! (or) Hi!|
|Làpìch knewël||I will see you again. (Goodbye)|
|tëmike||Come in! (or) Go in!|
The Lenape had three clans: the Wolf, the Turtle, and the Turkey. These clans were matrilineal, the children traced their clan through their mother.
Lenape is an eastern Algonquian language originally spoken in eastern Pennsylvania, southeastern New York, all of New Jersey, and northern Delaware.
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 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. This reflected a deep reverence for their natural environment and a concept that they were only a small part of Nature’s grand scheme.
The Indians used weirs or fence like traps and long nets to catch these fish. Some fish were easy to catch, but sturgeon were harder to land because they grew more than six feet long and weighed as much as two hundred pounds or more. Harpoons made out of deer antlers were sometimes used to spear large fish.