Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

Summary more permanent shelters. In 1,000 AD

Summary of the Establishment of
the Lenape:

The Lenape Native Americans were indigenous to what is now
modern day Delaware. There are two tribes that were native to modern Delaware: The
Lenape (Delaware) and the Powhatans. Early estimates for how the two tribes
native to Delaware began date back to as early as 10,000 BC. These early
Paleo-Indian tribes were cave dwellers or nomadic hunters. Around 7,000 BC The
Archaic period began where the indigenous peoples began building basic, more
permanent shelters. In 1,000 AD The “Woodland” period began and they began to
construct permanent homes and settlements, there was also evidence that they
began to start basic farming. In the 1400s the Algonquian tribe called the
Lenni Lenape developed and began to settle along modern day Delaware.

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Communal Life of the Lenape:

The communal life of the Lenape was one that felt that the
sense of family and community was very important. The workload was evenly
distributed among the men and women, though their roles were different they
were equally essential. The children observed their parent who shared their
gender in order to learn how to do their future responsibilities so they could
become an integral part of the community. There were many villages that were
occupied by people who belong to or were descendants of the Lenape people; some
villages were large with populations of two to three hundred strong but most of
the villages were only populated with twenty to fifty members at a time. The
Lenape people had three clans (also called phratries) the Turkey, Turtle, and
the Wolf. A child belonged to the clan that his or her mother did, for example:
if a mother belonged to the Wolf phratry of the Lenape Tribe then her child
would be given that as their identity, because identity runs through your
mother and is further defined by where your ancestral land is and physically
living there. Native cultures did not believe that identity was portable; they
felt that you had to live in your ancestral land in order to truly be a Lenape
or a part of any other tribe. Sons married women of other tribes and their
children would belong to their mother’s tribe. The Lenape were very peaceful
and civil with one another. They felt that the land belonged to the entire community;
therefore, no one stole from one another, shelter and possessions were shared,
and there was no hoarding of materials, food, land etc.

The tribes of
the Lenape had very organized governments: Chiefs (or sachems) were
selected by their communities based on their wisdom, honesty, and public
speaking abilities. In order to be awarded the position they had to learn about
their tribal religion and how to perform the sacred rituals and how to run
ceremonies. War leaders gained their title by demonstrating their bravery,
being able to effectively execute hunts, and being successful in battle.
 The other members of the tribes also had their roles: the men, beginning
at a young age, learned wood crafting and hunting skills. Once they had grown
into men they gained more responsibilities such as clearing out the land in
order to make room for more housing, building and repairing houses, felling
trees by burning or chopping in order to make dugout canoes. The
women had roles such as planting, tending to, and harvesting crops, gathering
wild plants, preparing foods that would be preserved until the winter, creating
pots, clothes, mats, and shoes. The women of these tribes also made flour and
oil from corn and nuts, containers from elm bark, and prepared the hides for
the shelters.

Events After the Establishment of the Lenape:

In the 1540s the Wichita (Narwahro) were observed by
Francisco Vázquez de Coronado and first contact with the Spanish was made; by
the 1590s the Spanish had their first expedition into Delaware and later
returned by the 1600s. Around this time the Minquas, a tribe from near the
Susquehanna River Valley began to attack the villages of the Lenni Lenape.
Around 1610 Henry Hudson, who was working for the Dutch East India Company, “discovered” the
Delaware Bay and River. In 1610 Captain Samuel Argall renamed the bay after the
governor Lord De La Warr. 1631 Dutch colonists settle in Lewes (then called
Zwaanendael). 1632: The Massacre at Zwaanendael occurs; as a result, the
settlement is destroyed and the colonists are killed due to a dispute with the
Natives. In 1644 William Penn is granted land in America which consisted of
what is now called Pennsylvania and Delaware, with this land he creates the
English North American Colony, it existed until 1718.  1688 – 1763 Was the
period of the French and Indian Wars; this feud was between France and Great
Britain for the (occupied) land in North America. The wars consisted of
King William’s War (1688-1699), Queen Anne’s War (1702-1713), King George’s War
(1744 – 1748) and the French and Indian War (Seven Years War) (1754-1763)

The effects of the French and Indian War on the Lenape:

During the final series
in the French and Indian war, the King of Great Britain, King George,

Events following the French and
Indian Wars: 1754 – 1763:

Great Britain wins the French and Indian war (Seven Years
War) against the French thus ending the series of conflicts that are summarized
by the term the “French and Indian war.” 1763: Treaty of Paris is is signed. 1775 The American Revolution commences and in 1783
ends with the Americans being the victors. 1776: July 4, 1776 –
United States declares independence
by creating the Declaration of
Independence. 1778: The treaty of Fort Pitt is signed; The Lenape
were the first Indian tribe to be incorporated into the treaty with the U.S. government.
1815: The War of 1812 (feud between the U.S. and Great Britain), ended thus
solidifying America’s Independence. 1824: The Department of Indian Affairs is
established; however, no Native American was a part of the program until 1869.
1830: The Indian Removal Act was set into place calling for the Native
Americans to endure the traumatizing process of relocation like the “Trial of
Tears”. 1832-1839: The Seminole, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Creek
Indians, (the “Five Civilized Tribes”) are relocated to Indian
Territory on the Trail of Tears. 1835: Most of the
Lenape (Delaware) tribe is removed from Delaware and placed into a reservation
in Kansas. 1862: U.S. Congress
passes Homestead Act opening the Great Plains to settlers and removing more
natives from their tribal land. 1865: Robert E. Lee surrenders on April 9 1865
thus the ending the Confederacy. 1867: The Delaware tribe were moved from
Kansas to Oklahoma Indian Territory and incorporated into the Cherokee Nation 1887:
Dawes General Allotment Act is passed by Congress, this leads to the breakup of
large Indian Reservations and allows the sale of Indian lands to white settlers 1969:
All Indians are finally declared citizens of the U.S. 1979: American Indian
Religious Freedom Act was passed. (Alchin, Linda. “History of Delaware.” History of Delaware Indians)

Modern life for the Lenape:

Present day life for the
descendants of the Lenape tribe is like the life of most of the other native
tribes that have been forcibly removed from their native, ancestral land; their
tribes mostly reside in Oklahoma due to them being moved because of the passing
of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The Lenape were first in 1835 to Kansas then
later in 1867 they were moved again to Oklahoma and were incorporated with the
Cherokee Nation. The Lenape still use their original tribal governmental
systems thought their tribal counselors can be undermined by the American
government. Their tribal traditions have been partially preserved
through legends, their daily methods, dances, ceremonies, etc.


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