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#1 Oct-25-2007 09:46:am

tree hugger
Site Admin
Registered: May-12-2006
Posts: 11139

Lenni-Lenape spirit alive in Bucks

http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/ … 29649.html

Lenni-Lenape spirit alive in Bucks

By MEGAN MCCLURE
Bucks County Courier Times
Marge Custer, director of Churchville Nature Center's Lenape Village, was given a very special nickname by her friends in the Lenni-Lenape Native American tribe, “Woman Who Changed the Custer Legend.”
As director, Custer strives to extend and preserve the culture of the tens of thousands of Native Americans who inhabited Bucks County before they were driven west when the Europeans took over their land.

In her presentation to village visitors, Custer explains that the Lenape tribe was known as the grandfather of all Native Americans because it was a peaceful tribe. Led by Chief Tammany — or Tamanend, as he is more popularly known — they tried to resolve conflict without force. They followed many of the same beliefs as the Irish and Quaker cultures, which Custer believes, is why the Lenape got along so well with William Penn, with whom they shared their land.

As Custer explained, the Lenape believed life was a learning experience. Children were made to think for themselves and were seldom punished, especially if there was a lesson to be learned. The tribe learned to live in harmony with nature and maintain a balance with every living thing. One credo was, “Let the first three go by and take the fourth.” If the Lenape were gathering eggs, they would save one for the animals, one for the birds, the third for procreation and take the fourth for the tribe.

Known also as the Delaware Indians, the Lenape inhabited a large territory from the New Jersey coast to the Kittatinny Mountains, which border the Delaware River along New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Kittatinny is Lenape for “endless hill” or “great mountain.” In what is now Bucks County, the Lenape settled along the Delaware in places such as Durham and Tinicum, as well as inland along the Neshaminy Creek in Upper Southampton and Wrightstown.


Today, a few thousand Lenape remain in the area, but many are not recognized by the state or the federal government because it is difficult to prove lineage. The Native Americans that do remain live much like the average American. In Bucks County, many gather once yearly in July for a powwow. Native Americans from different tribes and from all over the United States gather at Core Creek Park in Middletown to share each other's cultures and traditions. Many make their living dancing and traveling from powwow to powwow, according to Custer.

It was not until the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978, however, that policy was enacted preserving the rights of Native Americans to practice rituals such as dance indigenous to their culture. They were not even allowed to speak or teach their native language. In fact, at that time there were only three people left who spoke the Lenape language, and one of them, Nora Dean Thompson, recorded the language for preservation before she died in 1984.

Lenape

Want to learn more?

Visit the Churchville Nature Center, 501 Churchville Lane, Churchville. Lenni-Lenape Village tours are given every Sunday from April to October. In addition, there are Lenape stories, campfires, weekend village experiences, pottery workshops and a Native American festival in the spring. For more information on other Lenape activities at the nature center visit www.churchvillenaturecenter.org or call 215-357-4005.

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#2 Oct-25-2007 11:07:am

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4409

Re: Lenni-Lenape spirit alive in Bucks

BLECHHH!  Think I'm gonna' be sick.  Where do they get this stuff?

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#3 Oct-25-2007 11:46:am

tree hugger
Site Admin
Registered: May-12-2006
Posts: 11139

Re: Lenni-Lenape spirit alive in Bucks

There's a comment section at the link. wink

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#4 Oct-25-2007 12:45:pm

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4409

Re: Lenni-Lenape spirit alive in Bucks

TH:

My energy and enthusiasm for correcting this kind of stuff is at an all-time low, right now.  I'll stick to an occasional grouchy comment, here.

tree hugger wrote:

There's a comment section at the link. wink

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