Lenape "Leh-NAH-pay" Tribe lenni_lenape_flag_poster_print-p228068194773044262td2h_210.jpg

General Facts for Kids

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Young men often would cut their hair or pull it out by the roots so that only a small round spot on the crest of the head would remain. Although Lenape men did have facial hair, most got rid of it by plucking it out. Men typically wore a hairpiece called a β€œroach,” made out of porcupine hairs and dyed deer hair. They might also wear feathers in their hair, but usually only about two .

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The Lenape crafted wampum out of white and purple shell beads. Wampam was made from the inside of conch shells. Wampum beads were traded as a kind of currency, but they were more culturally important as an art material. The designs and pictures on wampum belts often told a story or represented a person's family.
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Brandolier Bag carried by men

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Medicine Bag

Burden basket


The Lenape lived in villages of round houses called wigwams. Some Lenape lived in stretched wignwams called longhouses that housed more people.
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Some Lenape villages were palisaded (surrounded with log walls for protection).
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The Lenni Lenape tribe used dugout canoes to travel on the Delaware River.
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  • How to make a dugout canoe
  • Students can practice making a dugout canoe by using a half of a hot dog bun and taking the bread out to make the canoe.

The Lenape walked and carried their heavy loads.


Women and children went into fields and forests to gather wild berries, fruits, mushrooms, and nuts. Most of this food was eaten as soon as it was ripe. In the spring there were wild strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries, persimmons, cranberries, and wild plums. Nuts such as walnuts, butternut. hickory nuts, and chestnuts were gathered in October and November.

The three most important planted crops were corn (also called maize), beans and squash, known as β€œThe Three Sisters.”
Corn on the cob was boiled, baked, or fried in bear grease. Sometimes women scaped the corn off the cob, ground the kernels into a paste and shaped the paste into patties, which was wrapped in leaves and baked or broiled. Corn was also used to make soup, bread, and puddings.

Beans were boiled or fried, made into soups, or added to meat dishes.

Squash was boiled or baked whole.

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Storing and Drying Foods
Plant foods were stored away for the wintertime. Ears of corn were tied in bundles and hung from the ceilings of the wigwams to dry. Corn kernels and beans were removed and stored in skin or woven bags. Pumpkins and squash were cut into rings, put on a stick, and hung up to dry in the sun. Meat and fish were sun-dried or sometimes were placed over a smoldering fire to slowly smoke dry. As long as these foods were kept dry, they would not spoil. When a Lenape woman wanted to use dried food, she cooked it in water. The water made the dried food swell up and became soft enough to eat.

Fishing and Hunting
The Lenape fished for sturgeon, shad, herring, and salmon. they also gathered crayfish, scallops, clams and oysters.
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Delaware Indian foods included soup, cornbread, dumplings and salads.



Dance and Music
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Songs, Poems, Activities

I'm a Lenni Lenape
To the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot"
I'm a Lenni Lenape on the go (put up two finger near head for feathers)
Here is my arrow (pretend to pull arrow from quiver on back)
Here is my bow (pretend to put arrow in bow and pull back)
When I go out hunting (pretend to walk quietly and look around)
Here me shout (put hands up to mouth to shout)
You better watch out!

ABC Book
Thoughout the unit, keep an ABC chart and add words about the tribe for each letter. After you have word for each letter, make an ABC book, assigning one letter to each child to illustrate.
A arrow
B bow, bandolier bag, bear, braids, beans, beads
C canoe,corn, corn husk dolls
D deer, dugout canoe, drum
E elk
F feathers, flag, fish
G gathers
H hunt
L Lenni Lenape
M moccasins, medicine bag. maize
N Native Americans
O "Original People"
P pottery, peaceful, Pow Wow
Q quiver
R river
S sleds and snowshoes, sqash, shields, shells
T turkey, Three Sisters, turtle
U Urami
V very...peaceful
W wigwam, wampum
Y yellow corn

Oh, Did You Know?

Lenape - "Oh, did you know ... song." from Maria Mallon on Vimeo.

Oh, did you know, did you know, did you know...
Our tribe is Leanpe, Lenape?
It means "The People,"
"The Original People"
from New York to Delaware.

Oh, did you know, did you know, did you know...
they speak Urami, Urami?
I know a word - it is "wanisha."
It means "thank you"!
It means "thank you!"

Oh, did you know, did you know, did you know...
They lived in wigwams, wigwams?
It kept them warm and safe from harm.
They loved their homes,
Like you and me!

Oh, did you know, did you know, did you know...
That they were farmers, farmers?
They planted corn and squash and beans.
The men would hunt and fish and hunt!

Oh, did you know, did you know, did you know...
The Lenape were peaceful, peaceful.
They liked to share and play some games.
They had some fun.
They had great fun!

Chets Creek 5th Grade Projects
2009Untitled-5.jpgMrs. Bueadreau's 5th grade class

Lanape: Chets Creek Pow Wow

Chets Creek Lenape Cardboard People
Chets Creek Family Wigwams
Lenape at Chets Creek Pow Wow
A blog about the 2007 Chets Creek Lenape tribe at Pow Wow

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