Delaware Indians of Pennsylvania

Delaware Indians Clothing & Food

Due to howling winds and snowy winters Delaware Indians (Lenape Indians) dressed in clothing that they made to keep warm.Different lighter weight clothing was worn in the warm spring months and in the hot summers.

During  warm weather Delaware Indian Men wore a breech clout and leggings tied to a belt. Delaware women wore a skirt and shirt usually made of deer hide.  There were no pockets in their garments.Purses were also used by the Delaware people. In colder weather people  wore clothing  next to their body.This attire was usually made of deerskin or beaver skin.Added to their winter wardrobes were, a hide shirt, a robe, and at times mittens and fur caps.

Turkey feathers were used for making warm cloaks and ornaments, and were  given to Delaware Indians for performing great deeds .Cattail leaves were woven into mats and soft cattail fluff was used for their baby diapers.

Settlers thought that Delaware Indians most valuable resources were beaver skins.Settlers demands for the pelts were so great that by 1800 they were trapped out.

Deer were a blessing to the Delaware Indians

Delaware Indian Men and women wore soft-soled deerskin moccasins. Deer skins were tanned to make clothing and packs. Moccasins  were only worn for ceremonies. They usually went barefoot. Hunters wore deer hides as camouflage. Deer antlers were made into jewelry. They were also used as a hoe when a handle was attached. Slivers from smashed deer bones were made into needles, and thread was made from the sinews.

What did Delaware Indians Eat?

Corn, beans, deer, squash, blueberries, pumpkins, tomatoes,cattail roots and peppers.Delaware Indians made;soup, bread, puddings,and sarsaparilla soda. Teas were made from sumac and white cedar. The teas had vitamin C which prevented the disease scurvy.  

Delaware Indians Food Preparation

Delaware Indians preferred to have their corn, beans, and squash prepared in different ways. Corn on the cob was boiled,baked or fried in bear grease. Sometimes Delaware Indian women scraped corn kernels off of cobs, ground them into a paste, and shaped the paste into patties which were then wrapped in leaves and baked or boiled. Corn was also used to make soup, bread, and puddings. Beans were boiled or fried, made into soups, or added to meat dishes. Squash was boiled or baked whole.Greens were added to meat dishes, wild herbs to soups, and berries to puddings or breads.

Delaware Indians(Lenni Lenape)prepared a variety of foods and believed in sharing the food they were blessed with.Delaware People were entitled to what they had trapped or gathered. Their belief was that no one should be allowed to go hungry.When visitors arrived,Delaware Indians offered them food.Researchers discovered that Delaware Indian guests usually ate the food that was given to them.

What utensils did Delaware Indians use for Cooking?

Delaware utensils consisted of bark plates or wooden bowls and spoons.Delaware foods were cooked in clay pots over a fire or wrapped in leaves and set in the hot ashes.  In time, the Indians began to use metal cooking pots that were brought by the Europeans. Delaware baskets and gourds were also used as handy utensils.

How did Delaware Indians construct Canoes ?

Delaware Indians dugout canoes were made by burning and scraping away the burned material of a tree.



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