Lenape has three brotherhoods, which in turn have twelve clans.
Big Feet, Mä an'greet
Yellow Tree, Wee-sow-het'-ko
Pulling Corn, Pä-sakun'a'-mon
Care Enterer, We-yar-nih'kä-to
Across the River, Toosh-war-ka'ma
Dog standing by fireside, Pun-ar'-you
Long Body, Kwin-eek'cha
Pulling up Stream, Non-har'-min
Brush Log, Long-ush-har-kar'-to
Bringing Along, Maw-soo-toh
High Bank Shore, Ta-ko-ong'-o-to
Drawing Down Hill, See-har-ong'-o-to
Green Leaves, Toosh-ki-pa-kwis-i
Smallest Turtle, Tung-ul-ung'-si
Little Turtle, We-lung-ung-sil
Snapping Turtle, Lee-kwin-a-i'
Big Bird, Mor-har-ä-lä
Bird's Cry, Le-le-wa'-you
Eye Pain, Moo-kwung-wa-ho'ki
Scratch the Path, Moo-har-mo-wi-kar'-nu
Opossum Ground, O-ping-ho'-ki
Old Shin, Muh-ho-we-kä'-ken
Drift Log, Tong-o-nä-o-to
Living in Water, Nool-a-mar-lar'-mo
Root Digger, Muh-krent-har'-ne
Red Face, Mur-karm-huk-se
Pine Region, Koo-wä-ho'ke
Ground Scratcher, Oo-ckuk'-ham
Origin of the American Eagle Emblem
"When you begin a great work you can't expect to finish
it all at once; therefore do you and your brothers press on and let
nothing discourage you till you have entirely finished what you have
"Now, Brother, as for me, I assure you I will press on
and the contrary winds may blow strong in my face, yet I will go
forward and never turn back and continue to press forward until I have
finished, and I would have you do the same."
"Though you may hear birds singing on this side and
that side, you must not take notice of that, but hear me when I speak
to you and take it to heart, for you may always depend that what I say
shall be true."
"The great man wanted only a little, little land, on
which to raise greens for his soup, just as much as a bullock's hide
would cover. Here we first might have observed their deceitful spirit."
Delaware oral tradition describing
the arrival of the Dutch at Manhattan Island
Portrait by Gustavus Hesselius 1735
"I admit that there are good white men, but they bear
no proportion to the bad; the bad must be the strongest, for they rule.
They do what they please. They enslave those of us who are not of their
color, although created by the same Great Spirit who created us. They
would make slaves of us if they could, but as they cannot do it, they
kill us! There is no faith to be placed in their words. They are not
like the Indians who are only enemies while at war and are friends in
peace. They will say to an Indian, 'my friend! my brother!' They will
take him by the hand, and at the same moment destroy him. And so will
you also be treated by them before long. Remember! that this day I have
warned you to beware of such friends as these. I know the long knives;
they are not to be trusted."
The words of Pachgantschilhilas ring true. He spoke
them in the eighteenth century, and they are as full of truth now as
then. And we are asked why we do not view time as a linear progression.
All life is a circle.
Pachgantschilhilas, Head Warrior of all Delaware
Delaware Executive Committee
P.O. Box 825
Anadarko, OK 73005
Return to Indigenous Peoples' Literature
Compiled by: Glenn Welker
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