Lenape Tribe Seal

Lenape Talking Dictionary

By English WORD or PHRASE

By Lenape WORD or PHRASE

Lenape Lesson #12 - Lenape Prayer

Alënixsitàm! 

Let's Talk Lenape!

Lesson #12

LENAPE PRAYERS

 

       Many tribal members have asked for information on how to say a prayer in Lenape.  Many elders said a prayer in Lenape should come from what is in your mind and heart and not a prayer learned by rote.  We will add more to this lesson at a later date.

 

Comments on Lenape prayers:  “It is our teaching that a prayer be addressed only to God, our Creator.  We are taught to pray according to what is in our heart, and we are not taught any prayers by rote or memorizing the same prayer to be said over and over without change.  Here are some words that are commonly used in prayer and each person as he or she learns more Lenape can then say what is in his or her heart.”  (Nora Thompson Dean, 1979)

 “We normally do not learn to say prayers by memory.  You pray based on what is in your heart and you select your words for what you want to say as you go along; however, since most people do not yet have enough grasp of Lenape, what follows is a sample ‘format’ for a prayer.”  (Lucy Parks Blalock, 1992)

 

 

WORDS COMMONLY USED IN A PRAYER


Sound Icon ahpamskan                          walk around 

Sound Icon ahpamskanèn                                 we walk around

Sound Icon ahpin                                               be here

Sound Icon alàpaèk                                           morning

Sound Icon èli                                        because

Sound Icon ènta                                                when

Sound Icon kàski                                    you can

Sound Icon kehëla                                             truly

Sound Icon kèxaptun                                         a few words

Sound Icon kenahkihi                                        watch over me

Sound Icon kenahkihaw                                    watch over him

Sound Icon kenahkihinèn                                  watch over us

Sound Icon kishkwik                                          today

Sound Icon Kishelëmienkw                               our Creator (speaking to Him)

     Note:  the word Sound Icon Kishelëmùkònk is used to talk about the Creator.

Sound Icon ktëmakelëm                                    take pity on him

Sound Icon ktëmakelëmi                                   take pity on me

Sound Icon ktëmakelëminèn                             take pity on us

Sound Icon lòkwik                                             evening

Sound Icon luwe                                               to say

Sound Icon luwèn                                             to say

Sound Icon mehëmichink                                 food

Sound Icon milinèn                                           give us

Sound Icon nipala                                             to stand

Sound Icon nipali                                              I stand

Sound Icon nipalinèn                                        we stand

Sound Icon nkàski                                            I can

Sound Icon nkata                                            I want

Sound Icon ntënxi                                            I can

Sound Icon nulelìntàm                           I am glad

Sound Icon nuxa                                              my father (voc.)

Sound Icon nuxati                                            dear father

Sound Icon tìlìch                                              so that

Sound Icon wanishi                                         thank you

Sound Icon wëli                                               good; well

Sound Icon wëlamàlsin                                   to feel well

Sound Icon wëlamàlsinèn                               we feel well

Sound Icon wichëm                                        help him

Sound Icon wichëmi                                       help me

Sound Icon wichëminèn                                 help us

Sound Icon xkwithakamika                             on the earth

Sound Icon yukwe                                          now

Sound Icon yushe                                this


LENAPE PRAYERS

         As previously stated, the elders say a prayer in Lenape should come from what is in your mind and not a prayer learned by rote. In the prayer format below the Opening and Closing are for everyone, but the Middle Section has three variables according to what you wish to pray for. In each section you will see words enclosed in [ ] and separated by //. This means that you select one of the two or three words thus marked which best suits your thoughts. Do not use both of the words together so choose only one. In one or two cases a word or phrase is enclosed in {  } with no alternative word given. This means the word can be omitted from the phrase if you wish. Under each line of Lenape is a literal translation of each word into English.

          In the prayer the Opening and Closing are for everyone, but the Middle Section has three variables according to what you wish to pray for.  In each section you will see words enclosed in  [  ] and separated by  //.  This means that you select one of the two or three words thus marked which best suits your thoughts.  Do not use both of the words together.  Choose only one.  In one or two cases a word or phrase is enclosed in [  ] with no alternative word given.  This means the word can be omitted from the phrase if you wish.  Under each line of Lenape is a literal translation of each word into English.

 


                                             LENAPE  PRAYER  FORMAT

Opening:

 

[Nuxa] // [Nuxati]   Kishelëmienkw, kehëla  [wanishi] // [nulelìntàm]

[Father] // [Dear Father] Our Creator, truly [thankful] // [I am glad]

 

tìlìch  nkàski  [nipai] // [ahpin]  yukwe  ènta  [alàpaèkw] //

that I can [I stand] / [I am here] now on this [morning]  //

 

[kishkwik] // [lòkwik].  [Kèxaptun]  nkata  kèku  luwe. 

[day] // [evening].  [A few words] I want something to say.

               

Middle:

 

[If praying for someone else

Wichëm  tìlìch  kàski  [wëli ahpamskan]

Help him  so that he can  [walk around

 

/ [wëli nipala] // [wëlamàlsin]  yushe  ènta xkwithakamika.  

well] / [stand up well] // [feel well] here on earth.

 

[Ktëmakelëm] // [Kenahkihaw]  Nuxati. 

[Take pity on him] // [Watch over him]  dear Father.



[If praying for yourself

Wichëmi  tìlìch  nkàski  [wëli ahpamskan] /

Help me so that I can [walk around well] /

 

[wëli nipalin] // [wëlamàlsin]  yushe  ènta xkwithakamika.  

[stand up well] // [feel well]  here on earth.

 

[Ktëmakelëmi] // [Kenahkihi]  Nuxati. 

[Take pity on me] // [Watch over me] dear Father.

 

 

[If praying for yourself and others

Wichëminèn  tìlìch  nkàski 

Help us so that we can

 

[wëli ahpamskanèn] // [wëli nipalinèn] // [wëlamàlsinèn]  yushe  ènta

[we walk around well] // [we stand up well] // [we feel well] here on

 

xkwithakamika.   [Ktëmakelëminèn] //[Kenahkihinèn]  Nuxati. 

earth.  [Take pity on us] // [Watch over us]  dear Father.

 

Closing:

 

Wanìshi èli milinèn mpi òk  mehëmichink.  Na  yukwe në [nkàski] //

Thank You because You give us water and food.  Then now this [I can] //

 

[ntënxi] luwèn.  Wanìshi.

[this is all I] say.  Thank You.



A Lenape Hymn


Our Creator in Heaven - A Lenape Hymn. . .

Sung by Cornelius Wilson to the tune of

How Firm A Foundation . . . recorded 1954

                     

 Go here to listen to him sing it:  http://talk-lenape.org/stories?id=31


 HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION (first two verses only)


      1.   Kishelëmùkòng òs'hakame ahpu,

            He-who-created-us  in-heaven  he-dwells,

            Our Creator lives in Heaven,

 

            Kiluna hàking gëmei ktàpihëna,

            We-people on-earth all-the-time we-dwell,

            We always live here on the earth,

 

            Kishelëmùkòng nèka wëlilìsu,

            He-who-created-us  that-one  he-does-good,

            Our Creator does good things,

 

            Kiluna kehëla këtëmakawsihëna

            We-people  truly  we-are-pitiful.

            We are truly pitiful.

 

 

      2.    Kishelëmùkòng ahi xingwilësu,

            He-who-created-us  very-much  he-does-great-deeds,

            Our Creator does very many great deeds,

 

            Kiluna  kehëla ktàngìti lësihëna;

            We-people  truly  we-do-only-small-deeds;

            We can only do truly small deeds;

 

            Kishelëmùkòng ahi chitanësu,

            He-who-created-us  very-much  he-is-strong,

            Our Creator is very strong,

 

            Kiluna kìchi sòmi kshawësihëna.

            We-people  really  very  we-are-weak.

            We are really very weak.