The Deleware Indians
What Would You Be Eating?
Traditionally, the Delaware depended mainly on agriculture. But hunting and fishing were also major parts to their diets. Hunting, fishing, and agriculture were also key parts to the Lenni Lenape economy. In the summer, they had farming communities. Normally, several hundreds of people lived in these to work. When it is winter, little family bands went through smaller territories to hunt. So, in any time of the year the Lenni Lenape always had something to eat. 1
"Delaware." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition.
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2013. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.
Culture of Lenni Lenape
The Lenape believed in a gender-neutral idea of God. Within the Lenape religious belief structure there were both male and female creators and male and female powerful spirit beings. There were at least three different creation stories, all directly or indirectly celebrating female creation. Only a few Lenape elders still speak their native Lenape language. Once a year they would hold a ceremony and dance. There are two different reports of how the dance was held. The most important religious festival for the Lenni Lenape was the Big House Ceremony, which lasted the sacred twelve days. The Big House represented the universe; the floor was the earth, the four walls, the four quarters of the world; the roof, the sky where the Creator lived. The intent was to thank the Creator and Spirits for their past blessings to the whole people and to pray that they would provide for the year to come.
History of Lenni Lenape
At the time of European settlement, the Native American population was small and widely scattered. The Delaware, or Lenni Lenape, occupied the Delaware valley; the Susquehannock were in the lower Susquehanna River valley; the Erie and various groups of the Iroquois Confederacy—Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, and Oneida—were in northern Pennsylvania. Tribes of the Ohio River valley lived in the central and western parts of the state. Swedes were the first European settlers in Pennsylvania. Traveling up the Delaware from a settlement at the present site of Wilmington, Del., Gov. Johan Printz of the colony of New Sweden established his capital on Tinicum Island (New Gothenburg) in 1643. Other Europeans, primarily the Dutch, established trading posts within Pennsylvania as early as 1647. A rivalry between the Dutch and the Swedes led Peter Stuyvesant, governor of New Netherland, to seize New Sweden in 1650. Dutch control of the region ended in 1664, when the English seized all of New Netherland in the name of the Duke of York (the future King James II).
Delaware individuals were in one of three clans. The members of each group usually lived in longhouses with the other group members. Groups of each longhouse were usually in communities together. In each community out of each clan were about 30 or 40 people out of 1600 people. The Lenni Lenape spoke in 1 of the 3 languages all of these were known as the Delaware Languages.
MLA Citation: "New Jersey." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition. 1
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2013. Web. 10 Feb. 2013.