They were farming people. 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.
The Lenni Lenape’s major farming staples were corn, winter squash, and climbing beans. This group is called “The Three Sisters”, and was a very popular combination across the Americas (and particularly in the North East).
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.
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 Lenape spoke two related languages, Unami and Munsee, both of which are in the Eastern Algonquian language family.
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.
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.
Clan Symbols: These represent the three clans of the Lenape: Turtle, Wolf and Turkey.
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.