Lenape Stories

Lenape:     Kwëlëpisuwe
English:     Kwëlëpisuwe . . . A humorous tale told by Nora Thompson Dean in 1968
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Lenape:     Nushhùkòwën Ta Ni
English:     I Am An Icicle . . . Told by Annie Brown Parks in 1971
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Lenape:     Mikwëna Tëlekhikàn Pwètanehëmaok Lënapeyunkahke
English:     William Penn's Letter to the Pennsylvania Indians . . . Sent from London on October 18, 1681 . . . Translated by Nora Thompson Dean in 1981.
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Lenape:     Xkweyok Enta Naxkuhëmënt Enta Këntkahtit
English:     Origin of the Delaware Woman Dance - Part One . . . Told by Lillie Hoag Whitehorn (1902 - 1994) to Bruce Pearson and Jim Rementer in 1977. Lillie was a member of the Delaware Tribe of Western Oklahoma (now The Delaware Nation), and she was half Caddo.
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Lenape:     Xkweyok Enta Naxkuhëmunt Enta Këntkahtit - 2
English:     Origin of the Delaware Woman Dance - Part Two . . . Told by Lillie Hoag Whitehorn (1902 - 1994) to Bruce Pearson and Jim Rementer in 1977. Lillie was a member of the Delaware Tribe of Western Oklahoma (now The Delaware Nation), and she was half Caddo.
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Lenape:     Lënuwa Kiikàmaok Pèthakhuweyok
English:     A Man Visited The Thunder Beings. . . Told by Nora Thompson Dean to Nicholas Shoumatoff in 1977
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Lenape:     Weòpsichik Pèchi Witawsumku
English:     Origin of White People . . . Told by Nora Thompson Dean to Nicholas Shoumatoff in 1977.
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Lenape:     Na Ahchinkxat Skixkwe
English:     The Stubborn Girl. . . Told by Nora Thompson Dean in 1968.
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Lenape:     Ni Ta Nkàski Sukëlanhe
English:     I Can Make It Rain. . . Told by Freddie Washington to Bruce Pearson in 1971.
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Lenape:     Enta Kahta Wëlahëlat Awèni
English:     When One Wants to Marry Someone . . . Told by Bessie Snake (1896 - 1999) to Nora Thompson Dean, Bruce Pearson and Jim Rementer in 1978. Bessie was a member of the Delaware Tribe of Western Oklahoma (now The Delaware Nation).
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Lenape:     Tànkitìch Ktahaki Kmilihëna
English:     Give Us a Little Piece of Your Land . . . Told by Bessie Snake (1896 - 1999) to Nora Thompson Dean, Bruce Pearson and Jim Rementer in 1978. Bessie was a member of the Delaware Tribe of Western Oklahoma (now the Delaware Nation). This is sometimes called the Cutting The Hide story.
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Lenape:     Lënapei Kwëtëlëtuwakàna
English:     Delaware Corrections and Sayings . . . . Told by Nora Thompson Dean. There are a number of corrections, taboos, and sayings in Lenape. As some are a bit lengthy they are numbered as 1a, 1b, etc. to show that they continue the correction.
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Lenape:     Na Chëmamës Eluwènsit
English:     What The Rabbit Said . . . Told by Martha Ellis to Ives Goddard in 1966. Martha was a member of the Delaware Tribe of Western Oklahoma (now the Delaware Nation).
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Lenape:     Osële ènta Tekëna
English:     Light in the Forest . . . Told by Nora Thompson Dean in 1963. In this recording she is reading to her father, James Thompson, who was 95 years old and had poor vision. She was reading from the novel The Light in the Forest written by Conrad Richter in 1953. In 1958 Walt Disney produced a movie based on the book and with the same title. Nora translated the story into Lenape as she read it in English. This is not a line by line translation but rather more in the form of a synopsis of the story. Recorded by Jim Rementer.
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Lenape:     Na Awènhake Luwe
English:     The Indian Said . . . Translated by Nora Thompson Dean in 1963. Just for fun when she heard this Indian joke Nora translated it into Lenape.
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Lenape:     Mwekaneyok òk Tëmeyok
English:     The Dogs and the Wolves . . . Told by Nora Thompson Dean in May 1976 to Carrie Briggs, a student of linguistics in Bruce Pearson's class at the University of South Carolina. Interestingly, this story theme appears in many tribes' folklore in various forms as a way to explain why dogs smell each other when they meet.
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Lenape:     Nsùkwis Nshinkalùkw
English:     My Mother-in-Law Hates Me . . . Told by Martha Ellis to Nora Thompson Dean, Bruce Pearson, and Jim Rementer in 1977. Martha was a member of the Delaware Tribe of Western Oklahoma (now the Delaware Nation).
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Lenape:     Tam Tulpe
English:     Tom Dooley . . . Lenape Version of the song Tom Dooley, translated by Nora Thompson Dean about 1963. This song was very popular on the radio and television in the early 1960s. I used to sing it a little bit around the house and one day Nora said, "If you’re going to sing that why don’t you sing it in Lenape?" She had been listening to it and translated it, so of course I wrote it down. Here we are singing it together, unrehearsed. The first line is the literal translation of the Lenape, the second line in italics is the Kingston Trio's original version.
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Lenape:     Alëmskakw!
English:     You People Leave! . . . Told by Nora Thompson Dean in 1984. A group from American Playhouse contacted Nora because they were doing a docudrama called Roanoak and wanted some lines of dialogue in Lenape which they were told was the closest related Indian language still spoken and they wanted something authentic. Nora received the script with the lines to be translated. She completed the work and made an audiotape of the Lenape for the film.
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Lenape:     Kukwèthakèxtun Eluwèt
English:     What WhiteEyes Said . . . Translated by Nora Thompson Dean for linguist Bruce Pearson in 1968. Bruce asked Nora to translate a speech supposedly by Capt. WhiteEyes in retort to comments by Capt. Pipe. The speech was found in a book titled Charles Killbuck which was published in 1902.
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Lenape:     Kukhusëwim
English:     Origin of Kukhusëwim . . . Told by Nora Thompson Dean to Nick Shoumatoff about 1976. This is an abbreviated version of a longer story about the origin of the American Bittersweet vine (Celastrus scandens). The sections in italics are parts from the longer version of the story which were not recorded on audio when told.
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