Who Are the Lenape?
The Lena'pe people are the original inhabitants of Delaware, New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, and Southern New York. For over 10,000 years they have been the caretakers of these lands and of The River of Human Beings, more commonly known as the Delaware River.The Lena'pe were the first tribe to sign a treaty with the United States and the first tribe to have land set aside for them in New Jersey. Over a period of 250 years, many Lena'pe people were removed and dispersed throughout the country. Some took refuge with other tribes. A large number of Lena'pe families remained in the homelands and continue the traditions of their ancestors up to our present day. Today the Lena'pe people from all over Turtle Island are revitalizing their communities.
Many place names in Pennsylvania are derived from the Lena'pe Language, such as Manyunk, Conshohocken, Neshaminy...to mention only a few. In the city of Philadelphia stands a statue of Chief Tamanend, a revered leader among the Lena'pe, who signed many treaties with William Penn. The history of the Lena'pe is truly the history of Pennsylvania.
Lenape Culture Today
Our people today are just like anyone else in today's society. Most have jobs; we have families, and live in a white society. The difference comes when we enter our home, that's when we can be true our selves. We enter our lenapehokong. One must realize that our people have lived underground for a very long time. We still do ceremonies at different homes. When it is time, the word is spread to each household letting them know when and where it will be. Our elders are still afraid of being caught, and the thought of having their possessions taken away still runs deep. It is just in the past few years that the younger generations have been able to talk with them and have them understand that it is good to be Lenape. The fear is slowly leaving but so are the elders. They are passing before they see the good things that are finally coming to pass. Now we are coming out of our shells and lifting our heads.
Education is a prime factor for the Nation. We feel that our youth are the beneficiaries of our goals. In doing so, we are setting up scholarship funds for them. To receive the scholarship, each youth must take an active part in his or her culture. By doing so they are actually being a part of the culture as they grow. It is our goal in all of our endeavors to promote the awareness that the Lenape people living in Pennsylvania are carrying on their traditions, culture and spiritual beliefs, and that they are engaged in numerous projects to provide practical ways for all citizens to respect and protect our homeland and the health, welfare and future of the next seven generations of our children.
VISIT OUR CULTURAL CENTER IN EASTON!
Open Saturdays 11AM - 3PM
Corner of 2nd and Northampton Streets, Easton, PA
Lenape Culture presentations are offered both on location
by request, and at the Lenape Cultural Center on the second floor of the Bachmann Public House, Northampton and 2nd Streets, Easton, Pa.
Presentations may also be combined with a class field trip to the Lenape Exhibit at the Sigal Museum in Easton, Pa. For more information regarding Sigal Museum Proframs, please contact:
Barbara Kowitz, Executive Director, NCHGS. 342 Northampton Street, Easton, PA 18042
phone: 610.253.1222 ext.11
wikewam: Lenape Exhibit at the Sigal Museum, Easton, Pa.
VISIT OUR LENAPE LANGUAGE PAGE
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