Special Cultural Exhibits

Fire (Tentey)

Contributed by Brett PaddlesUpstream


In Lenape Culture the importance of Fire was both practical and ceremonial. Heat, cooking, and tool making were all practical uses of fire but there is a much deeper understanding of fire, so much so that it is regarded as “Grandfather” in Lenape Culture. Like everything in Lenape life there is a balance, while Fire is designated as “male” the balance, water, is considered “female” and the human “caretakers” are respectively male and female, that is men generally are responsible for making and caretaking of fire and women are the caretakers of the waters. (more…)

A Few Traditional Games

Contributed by Brett PaddlesUpstream

Pick-up-sticks, Jackstaws (Selahtinalitin)


Played much like the “American” games “Jackstraws” or “Pick-up-sticks”, a number of pieces are cut from bog grass or reeds, usually between 50 and 65. 15 of these are marked with pigment paint or by burning, the remaining sticks are left plain. The pieces are mixed up in the hands and dropped onto a blanket, then the 2 players take turns using a porcupine quill to collect the “sticks”, without disturbing any other sticks. The unmarked pieces are 1 point while the 15 marked pieces are 5 points, and the game is played to a predetermined number, usually 100, score is kept with seeds, corn kernels, pebbles, or whatever is available. (more…)

Plant Medicine

Contributed by Brett PaddlesUpstream

The Following is a very brief introduction to Lenape plant use.  I have chosen some of the “common” plants that you might see on a daily basis, in this area, and given their Lenape name and a very brief explanation of their use.  This is not even scratching the surface of Native Medicines. That is a presentation all of its own, my intention is only to give you something to think of the next time you are walking or driving along and see one of these plants. (more…)