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Delaware (Lenape)

Noweta (Welcome)

Lenape Language

Delaware (Lenape) Tribe - Language

The language is called Lenape, just like the tribe. Unfortunately it is almost an extinct language with only a few elders, all 90+ in age, who speak it fluently.

You can hear some of the words by going to the Delaware (Lenape) tribal website's language pages. They are in live audio format.
NOTE: The Delaware (Lenape) tribal website's language pages are no longer online. the link goes to the WayBack Machine archives.

The sounds in Lenape are arranged differently from those in English. The Lenape's also lack the sounds of R, F, TH, V. They do, however, add the sound written as X (or ch in German) which sounds a bit like clearing the throat. There is also a voiceless L like in the Welsh language, and a voiceless W .

Many of the consonants in Lenape come in pairs, voiceless and voiced. They are as follows:

voiced B D G J Z ZH
voiceless P T K CH S SH

Lenape Word Meaning
Achsinnaminschi Sugar Maple Tree
Lenape Original People
Mahchikwpi Paw-paw (fruit)
Mahchikwpiakw Paw-paw tree
Minsi the Lenape who lived in the upper reaches of the Delaware watershed
Munhacanimischi Dog Wood (Munsi)
Sakima a chief
Wënilaxtiku Unalachtigo - The Lenape people who lived in the southern area. It was translated as "People detached from where there are waves."
Wënami (Unami) Unami - The Lenape people who lived south of the Raritan River and the Delaware Water Gap
Kekw a wampum bead
Kekok wampum beads
Wikwam house
Lenape Word Animal / Bird
Ahas crow
Chihopèkëlis Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)
Chingwe bobcat
Chiskukus Robin (Turdus migratorius)
Chulëns bird
Hinutët Wren (Picoides pubescens)
Lelèmbëlis Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
Òkwës fox
Pukwès mouse
Sënihële Sparrow Hawk -or- American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)
Sàngwe weasel
Tànktiyas Tufted Titmouse (Parus bicolor)
Tàskëmus Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)
Tëmakwe beaver
Tëme wolf
Tihtës Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
Wetëndeis Scarlet Tanager (Pirange olivacea)
Wisawtayas American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)
Xanikw squirrel
Lenape Name Meaning
Ahsën'pink A rocky place that is watery
Kanshihaking Elegant Land
Mëneyung Place to drink
Mochijirickhicken a large river where there are tides
Pahsayung in the valley
Pahsayek Valley
Pënëpekw water that flows downwards
Siskuwihane muddy river
Wikweko place where something ends
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© 2017 County Coordinator
State Coordinator: Linda Simpson
Asst. State Coordinator: Mel Owings