Lenape Visit Haverford

Shelley DePaul passing the wampum to Haverford College students.

Yesterday the 2022 Lenape Rising Nation River Journey down the Lenapei Sipu stopped at Haverford (there’s one final event at Cape May in a few days though). The visit started with smudging, then drumming, and included stories and introductions to the groups signing the treaty of friendship with the Lenape Nation of PA. I wasn’t able to stay through all the groups, but there was a variety to them. Besides Haverford College, who hosted the event, it included a hospital, a theater creating a new play involving the Lenape, a national land trust and a family foundation dating back to the 17th century among others. Haverford College is working with LNAP to put together an exhibit starting in January. There’s supposed to be a digital version too, but I can’t seem to find it yet. The student interns working on it over this summer spoke at the event. (update – A student in class with me shared the link, you can find the online exhibit here.)

There’s been news stories along the way. This article is from Easton. Here’s another from Bucks. Each time down the river attracts greater awareness and more groups get involved. Professor Garrett of Temple, one of the students in the class with me has made a movie of the 2018 river journey. I asked if it was available, but there are still technical details to work out. Haverford hosted a showing of it yesterday afternoon.

I’ve written another short story to add to the existing Lenape text this time focusing on some family terms. There are words in Lenape for older brother and older sister, but younger siblings and cousins are all grouped together in one term, hence the ambiguity of kemisemes.

He uma, kulamalsi hech?Hello grandma, are you well?
Nulamalsi nuxwiti. Tani hech ktapi shepae?I am well, granddaughter. Where have you been this morning?
Nkelixike kwenikaonink. Keku hech kemikentam kishkwik.I was sewing in the long house. What are you doing today?
Kench ntakihe shek kshelante.I must plant but it is a hot day.
Ahikta. Nkata ashewil. Tani hech nux? Konaet xu mpehewe.I agree. I want to swim. Where is my father? Maybe I will wait.
Alapae utenink e. Xu kwetki piskeke wichi kemisemes.He went to town early in the morning. He will return tonight with your younger sibling/cousin.
Xu tahchihele. Kewichemel hech uma?That will be too late. Can I help you grandma?
e-e. Atam hakihakanink nuxwiti.Yes. Let’s go to the garden, granddaughter.

Categories: Events, History, Lenape