Lenape River Journey

The advanced class books.

Every four years, one of the local Lenape groups travel down the Delaware River from Hancock, NY to Cape May, NJ to raise awareness about the native peoples of this area. Along the way they hold a variety of events for the public. Parts of the river are traveled by canoe and camping, other parts (like around Philadelphia) they have to pass by. This year’s schedule has been posted. The closest events to Garden City are an event at Haverford College at 11 am on August 16th and another at 11 am on August 17th at East Falls River Landing in Philadelphia. The trip ends on August 19-20 at Cape May, NJ.

Shelley DePaul has continued teaching Lenape language classes, and we’ve now completed the second round of lessons in the first book. This past year the List Gallery at Swarthmore College held an exhibit by Dyani White Hawk which included a number of Native Americans speaking in their languages. A Lenape speaker was among those that could be heard at the exhibit.

Here’s a short story I made up to continue to expand the extent text in the Unami dialect.

Anikwes tukhihele alapae. Chipmunk woke up early in the morning
Amu ok e tekeninkHe got up and went into the forest
Weli kishku. Anikwes tolemi lakusu sipuwas kixki.It was a beautiful day. Chipmunk begins to climb a nearby wild plum.
Tukonink weneyo xanikwOn a branch he saw Squirrel.
Anikwes luwe, “He. Kulamalsi hech?”Chipmunk said, “Hello. How are you?”
Xanikw luwe, “Nulhan kishkwik. Kulamalsi hech?”Squirrel said, “I am lazy today. How are you?”
Anikwes luwe, “Nkatupwi ahi. Nkata mitsi.Chipmunk said, “I am very hungry. I want to eat.”
Xanikw luwe, “Hate mata ili kweti sipuwas yu tali. Lokewe maxke mitsu wemi keku.”Squirrel said, “There is not even one wild plum here. Yesterday bear ate everything.”
“Eche!” luwe anikwesChipmunk exclaimed in surprise.
Xanikw luwe, “Nuwatun tani kemaxkamenen mehemichink.”Squirrel said, “I know where we can find food.”
Eyok tekenink ok pemeskeyok takiti.They went into the forest and walked a little while there.
Pwentawoo xaheli chulensak.They heard a great many birds.
Xantki wenemeneyo sipwa.Finally they saw a river.
Sipunk hateyo xeli wisakim ok mahchikpia.At the river there were many grapes and paw paws.
Anikwes ok xanikw mitsuwak ok papuwak sipunk.Chipmunk and squirrel ate and played at the river.
Kexiti piske enta kishi mitsihtit.It was a little dark when they finished eating.
“Eche!” luwe anikwes. “Newishasi. Sasapelehele. Atam!”Chipmunk exclaimed in surprise, “I’m scared. There is lightening. Let’s go!”
“Ku.” luwe xanikw. “Sasapisak kenthuwak yukwe. Wentaxa. Welesuwak.”No, said squirrel. “Fireflies are flying now. Come on. They are good.”
Kentkeyok wichi sasapisak opani.They danced with the fireflies all night.

Categories: Events, Lenape