Quilt of Belonging: Lenni-Lenape Quilt block
Tourism Middlesex is determined to display the Quilt of Belonging as part of the Commemoration of the War of 1812 – 1814. At a recent barn quilt planning meeting in Thamesville Monday night, we were honoured to meet Shirley Baker, one of the creators of the Delaware (Lenni Lenape) block in the Quilt of Belonging. Click Delaware (Lenni Lenape for the full story.
The Delawares were also known as the Lenni-Lenape, which means “Original People” in their Algonquian language. They first encountered Europeans in the early 1600s. The area the Delawares lived in can today be described as the entire State of New Jersey, the eastern part of New York State (including New York City), the northern parts of Delaware and Maryland, and the eastern part of Pennsylvania. The name Delaware comes from the “English title” Sir Thomas West (governor of the Jamestown colony) carried, which was “Lord De-la-Warr”. When he named the Pennsylvania River the “Delaware River,” the Lenni-Lenape, who lived on it, became known as Delawares.
The Lenape were known as the “Grandfather” tribe among Algonquian-speaking peoples. They were well-respected as peacemakers and often called upon to mediate conflicts between other tribal groups. Their preference for peace however, did not diminish their skills as warriors, when such action was deemed necessary.
The Lenni Lenape relied heavily on agriculture for their food sources. The women planted and maintained fields–which sometimes measured over 200 acres–of corn, squash, beans, sweet potatoes, and tobacco. Traditional fare often included corn soup, corn bread, fried pickerel, and roast venison. Some traditional “social dance songs”, sung to the resonant beat of a water drum, were named after specific crops. “Social dance songs” were often shared with neighbouring tribes, but songs of a ceremonial or religious nature were never permitted to be used by other groups. Traditional social gatherings include the Delaware Grand Council of North America Gathering, Delaware Confederacy Gathering, Fall Gatherings, Elders gatherings, and Pow wows.
In the 1600 and 1700s, land sales and wars with colonials forced most of the Lenni-Lenape to move west and north; consequently they now they live in Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Kansas, Idaho, and many other states, as well as in Ontario, Canada. Today, the Lenni Lenape (Delaware) number over 20,000 people. 1,500 members live in southern Ontario in three locations: Delaware Nation, Moravian of the Thames Band, Munsee Delaware and Six Nations.
Pam and Paul Lamarche
Quilt of Belonging Gallery Listing: 1185
Posted on August 1, 2011, in Longwoods Barn Quilt Trail, Quilt block patterns., Quilt Blocks. and tagged Delaware First Nations, Lenni-Lenape, Quilt of Belonging. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.