The 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. Foods included soup, cornbread, dumplings and salads.
The food that the Lenape tribe ate included the staple diet of the ‘three sisters’ crops of corn, beans and squash. Tobacco was also farmed by the men. Fish such as sturgeon, pike and a variety of shellfish such as clams, oysters, lobsters and scallops were an important part of their food supply.
Deer, elk, black bear, raccoon, beaver, and rabbit were among the animals hunted for meat, skins, and sinew, and the bear’s fat was melted, purified, and stored in skin bags. Turkeys, ducks, geese, and other birds were killed for meat and feathers.
Lenape hunters used bows and arrows. Lenape warriors wielded heavy wooden war clubs, and also carried body-length shields of moosehide and wood.
The Delaware natives, also called the Lenape, originally lived along the Delaware River in New Jersey. They speak a form of the Algonquian language and are thus related to the Miami natives, Ottawa natives, and Shawnee natives.
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.
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.
The Iroquois ate a variety of foods. They grew crops such as corn, beans, and squash. These three main crops were called the “Three Sisters” and were usually grown together. Women generally farmed the fields and cooked the meals.
The Lenape spoke two related languages, Unami and Munsee, both of which are in the Eastern Algonquian language family.
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, 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.
Clan Symbols: These represent the three clans of the Lenape: Turtle, Wolf and Turkey.
The women wore knee-length skirts and tops made out of deer skins. Lenape men wore breechcloths and legging also made from deer skins. When it was cold they would wear deerskin mantles or cloaks. Both men and women wore earrings and deer skin moccasins.
The Delaware Tribe of today is composed of the descendants of the so-called main body of Delaware who elected not to relocate north or west but remained in Ohio following the American Revolution.
The Lenape people based their religious ceremonies around their seasonal activities, such as the Corn Planting Ceremony, Roasting Ears of Corn, Thanksgiving, and midwinter solstice.