"Delaware Indians" and "Delaware people" redirect here.
For other Native American peoples from present-day Delaware, see Category: Native American tribes in Delaware.
During the decades of the 18th century, most Lenape were pushed out of their homeland by expanding European colonies.
While clan mothers controlled the land, the houses, and the families, the clan fathers provided the meat, cleared the fields, built the houses, and protected the clan. The practice effectively prevented inbreeding, even among individuals whose kinship was obscure or unknown.
This means that a male from the Turkey Clan was expected to marry a female from either the Turtle or Wolf clans.
As in the case of the Iroquois and Susquehannocks, the animosity of differences and competitions spanned many generations, and in general tribes with each of the different language groups became traditional enemies in the areas they'd meet.
On the other hand, The New American Book of Indians point out that competition, trade, and wary relations were far more common than outright warfare—but both larger societies had traditions of 'proving' (blooding) new (or young) warriors by 'counting coup' on raids into another tribes territories.
The tribe's common name Delaware is not of Native American origin.
English colonists named the Delaware River for the first governor of the Province of Virginia, Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, whose title was ultimately derived from French.
This is why William Penn and all those after him believed that the Lenape clans had always only had three divisions ('Turtle, Turkey, and Wolf) when, in fact, they had over thirty on the eve of European contact.
Members of each clan were found throughout Lenape territory and clan lineage was traced through the mother.
On the west side, the Delaware people The Lenape lived in numerous small towns along the rivers and streams that fed the waterways, and likely shared the hunting territory of the Schuylkill River watershed with the rival Iroquoian Susquehannock.
The Unami and Munsee languages belong to the Eastern Algonquian language group.
For individual people from the state of Delaware, see List of people from Delaware. Today, Lenape people belong to the Delaware Nation and Delaware Tribe of Indians in Oklahoma, the Stockbridge-Munsee Community in Wisconsin, and the Munsee-Delaware Nation, Moravian of the Thames First Nation, and Delaware of Six Nations in Ontario.