Lenape Tribe Seal

Lenape Talking Dictionary

By English WORD or PHRASE

By Lenape WORD or PHRASE

Lënapei Kwëtëlëtuwakàna

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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English:
1a. When a person wants to go somewhere he should not be taking his clothes off and on
Lenape:
1a. Enta awèn kahta tëta ate matàch pipili hèmpsa ikahatu
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English:
1b. because when he dies he will try to come back (to change his clothes).
Lenape:
1b. èli ènta ànkëlëke làpìch pè.
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2. When a person likes to take shortcuts it is said they will not live a long life.
Lenape:
2. Enta awèn winki pukweehëlate mata kwënsawsi hùnt.
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3. If a person whistles when it is dark his mouth will go crooked.
Lenape:
3. Chipuwète awèn piskewëni pimtunehële.
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4a. When a person sits on a (long) log when it is burning (in an outdoor fire)
Lenape:
4a. Enta awèn lëmatahpit xkwëchi mësako ènta lusink
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4b. people will not listen to him when he says anything.
Lenape:
4b. matàch awèn këlsìtao enta kèku luwèt.
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5. A person should not blow on any medicinal tea (as one would to cool it) when he wants to drink it.
Lenape:
5. Matàch awèn putatamuwën mpisun ènta kahta mënète.
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6. A person should not break off icicles as this will anger the winter spirit, and it will become colder weather.
Lenape:
6. Matàch awèn pënitehëmu nushhùkòna èli tòhihao luwànàn'tu, alëwi xu the.
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7a. One should not abuse dogs as they will not allow him across the 'bridge' when he dies. (The belief is that a bridge is in the Milky Way, and one must cross it to get to Heaven).
Lenape:
7a. Awèn kètëmakihate mwekaneyo ta wingi lelëma xkoxkàn ànkëlëke tayaxkunink tali.
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7b. In the sky there is a bridge, and when a person goes home to where the Creator lives he must cross that bridge, the deceased elders said.
Lenape:
7b. Enta mushhòkunk tali hate në tayaxkun, enta awèn machite Kishelëmukònk wikit kënch ta xkoxkate në tayaxkun, luweyok kìkayunkahke.
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8. A person should not crack nuts after nightfall, it is said the departed people will want them.
Lenape:
8. Matàch awèn pahkàsi piskewëni, kètëmaksichik awènik kotatàmëneyo hùnt.
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9. A pregnant woman should not eat anything that (it is suspected) a cat has tasted because a cat has a bad mouth.
Lenape:
9. Kètanichnit xkwe matàch michi mehëmichink na pushis michite èli mahchëtune wa pushis.
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10. A pregnant woman should not eat chicken for if so the baby will tear her up like a chicken looking for food.
Lenape:
10. Kètanichnit xkwe matàch michi tipasi wiyus èli xu tuxkënao alàshi tipas ènta natunink mehëmichink.
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11. A pregnant woman should not look at a rabbit. When her child is born the child will be hare-lipped like a rabbit.
Lenape:
11. Kètanichnit xkwe matàch pwënao chëmamës. Enta wëlahëlat na mwimëntëta kòhshëtune na mimëntët alàshi chëmamës.
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12. A pregnant woman should not look at an opossum because the child will look like a opossum.
Lenape:
12. Kètanichnit xkwe matàch pwënaiyo òpinkw èli xu òpinkwinakwsu na mimentët.
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13. A pregnant woman should not look at a departed person as the baby's eyes will spasmodically close, it will look like a person already deceased.
Lenape:
13. Kètanichnit xkwe matàch pwënaiyo awèn alalehëlexèt èli na mimëntët wëshkinko xu shëshawëshkinkwe, linakòt awèn mèchi mata ahpi.
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14. A pregnant woman should not keep looking at a food which is in sight without eating some because the baby will be cross-eyed.
Lenape:
14. Kètanichnit xkwe matàch pwënamu mehëmichink mata michiwën èli xu na mimëntët ahpimshkinkwe.
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15. A person should not ask a dog questions because if they answer you will die. [Nora did add that it was okay to talk to a dog, just do not ask a question.]
Lenape:
15. Matàch awèn tutëmao mwekaneyo ènta na mwekane naxkumënt awèn xu ànkël.
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16. No one should eat a gizzard until she is an old woman or old man or it is said their face will become wrinkled.
Lenape:
16. Matàch awèn michi tësi kënch ta kìkuwi xkwe òk kìkuwi lënu ènta xu nèl wëshkinko pisële hùnd.
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17. A person should not defecate nor urinate in a garden as 'Our Mother Corn' is pure.
Lenape:
17. Matàch awèn ikalìchieyok shki hakihakànink tali, èli wa Kahèsëna Xàskwim pilsu.
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18. One should not eat or drink outside after dark without first giving a small bit, placed on the ground, for the departed.
Lenape:
18. Matàch awèn mitsi òk mëne piskewëni kochëmink kënch ta hìtami sukalètàmu në mehëmichink òk në mehëmënink èli yuki nèlkahkonkwik kotatàmëneyo hùnt.
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19. When one brushes ones hair the hair should be put in a fire, and one tells 'Grandpa Fire,' "I give it to you." It is said that when a person leaves this earth 'Grandpa Fire' will give the hair back to that person.
Lenape:
19. Enta awèn kìshi chixàmate na mixekàna may ikahatuneyo tënteyunk tali, luweyok "Tatahëlën muxumsa." Enta awèn alëmskate yushe xkwithakamika xu na muxumsëna na tëntay làpi mwilao na awèn.
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20. A menstruating woman should not go into the Big House, nor dance in the Doll Dance. she is in her menstrual period, and that will make unclean the things that are good.
Lenape:
20. Alëwixënit xkwe matàch tëmike xinkwikaonink tali, shëtako këntkate òhtas këntkan. Nisksu na xkwe, òk niskitun wèmi kèku weltëk.
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21. A person should not used salt in Feast food (a Feast for the departed) or in food eaten after a peyote meetings. (These foods are cooked without salt and no salt is used before eating.)
Lenape:
21. Matàch awèn hnakatamu sikhay ènta wihunkèt shëtako ènta kìshi michihtit mpisun.
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22. Anyone (but usually children who come to the table) who refuses to eat will have their face blackened and be sent away. Anyone who sees the blackened face will not feed him.
Lenape:
22. Awèn mata kahta mitsite sëkënëmaon wëshkinkw òk ikalilëskao. Awèn ènta neyòte në sëkixink wëshkinkw mata tòxamaio.
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23. When a person is pitiful and loses a relative a hide, a deerskin string, is tied around his or her wrist. (The string should not be removed, but be allowed to wear off.)
Lenape:
23. Enta awèn tëmaksite ànkhilate elànkumàki kënch ta xès, ahtuhwi xès, ika hatakwe nòxkink tali.
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24. When a woman loses her husband she should have her hair taken down (and worn loose although it can be tied up like a ponytail) for a year. Her hair is taken down by the deceased husband's relatives.
Lenape:
24. Enta xkwe ànkhilate witaemachi shealhùkwe kwëti kahtëne. Làxënënmao mwilàxk na wicheòchi elànkumàki.
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25. A person should not go to sleep with the red paint (used on the faces of dancers, or participants in the Big House Church)on his or her face because the departed people will say, "Oh, this person has come to see us," because when a person leaves this world he or she is painted, and that is the reason they say that.
Lenape:
25. Matàch awèn kawi ènta èlahkënate wëshkinkw èli yuki nèlkahkonkwik awènik xu luweyok, "O, pèchi washe awèn nehkuna," èli ènta awèn alëmskat yushe xkwithakamika èlahkënao, nal në wënchi në luweyok.
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26. One should wash ones hair within four days after the death of a relative.
Lenape:
26. Enta awèn ànkhilate èlànkumàke shixùkòte newa kishkwike.
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27. No one should go to sleep with wet hair because the departed people will say, "Oh, this person has come to see us (in the spirit world)!" Soon the person will sicken and die. (This comes from that fact that when a person dies, and the body is washed, so also is the hair).
Lenape:
27. Matàch awèn kawi ènta skàpantpat èli yuki kètëmaksichik awènik luweyok, "O, pèchi èt may nèhkuna washe awèn." Xuniti na awèn palsu òk ànkël.
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28. In the spring in the woods (when the sap rises) a person should cut the wild grape vine and saturate the hair (with the sap) because the elders say, "Soon the hair will grow long like a grape vine."
Lenape:
28. Sikònke awèn tekënink eyok kishkshëmën në wisahkimi, skàpënëmën në mwilàxk èli luweyok yuki kikayàk, "Xuniti në mwilàxk xu alàshi kwënikën në mwilàxk alàshi wisahkimi.
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29. It was said long ago by the Delawares now deceased if a person goes outside or is seated outside, if he hears a Rain Crow (Yellow-Billed Cuckoo, it is named by the old Delawares) he will be lazy all day long.
Lenape:
29. Luwèn hùnt lòmwe yuki Lënapeyunkahke ènta awèn kochëmink li ate, shëtako lëmatahpite kochëmink, ènta pëntaote na chulëns kaxkhuwes èluwènsik luweyok hùnt kwëti kishkwi awèn nulhànt.
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30. It was said long ago by the elders that when a person hears a little bird named a wren soon someone will visit us, it was said by the old Delawares.
Lenape:
30. Luwèn hùnt lòmëwe yuki kìkayàk ènta awèn pëntaote na chulëntët hinutët èluwènsit xuniti xu awèn kiikàmùkuna, luwèn hànkw yuki xuwi Lënapeyunkahke.
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31. When a screech owl comes to your home and and lands outside in a tree where a person lives they say, "Oh, that is not good!" They began to be afraid and they burned some salt and they prayed. That is the way the old Delawares did long ago. (The belief was that he is a messenger of bad news that someone you know or a relative is going to die.)
Lenape:
31. Enta wa chululhuwe pèchi lihëlak hìtkunk tali kochëmink ènta awèn wikit luweyok hùnt, "O, mata wëlëtu." Alëmi wishas'hatuwàk, wëlusemëneyo në sikhay òk patamaok. Elaihòsihtit hùnt lòmwe Lënapeyunkahke lòmëwe.
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32. It is said that long ago when they had boys in the family the boys were not allowed to drink or eat soup because they say that when they wanted to go hunting all the animals would run away because (that soup) becomes like bells they have on their legs. That is the reason all the animals would run away.
Lenape:
32. Lòmëwe hùnt ènta awèn wëlahëlat pilaechëchàk mata awèn lelëma tìli mënèn ok mitsin shitay èli luwèn hùnt ènta kahta alait wèmi yuki aèsìsàk alëmshimuwàk èli alàshi hùnt sësùmwèktëta ikahatu wikatink. Nal në wënchi wèmi yuki aèsìsàk shimuwàk.
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33. It is said that a person should not whistle or sing while he is eating. Whoever does this will be eating with the devil.
Lenape:
33. Matàch ta awèn chipuwe ènta mitsit shëtako asuwit luwèn hùnd. Awèn xu wipumao na mahtan'tu ènta në lësit.
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34. When a person wants to eat he should not just wear one shoe because if he does this he will be one-legged. He should wear two shoes.
Lenape:
34. Enta awèn kahta mitsite matàch ta kwëti chipàkw ikahatu èli ènta awèn në lësit xu kwëtkate. Nisha shëkw chipahkok ikahatu.
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35. A person should not cut his finger or toe-nails on a Sunday because when he does this he will do something embarrassing.
Lenape:
35. Matàch ta awèn tëmikahshehwi ènta këntëwei kishku èli xu ènta lësit tëntana mikoihòsin.
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36. The snow is waiting. [This refers to small patches of snow still around after most of the other snow has melted. It means these patches are waiting for more snow to come.]
Lenape:
36. Pehëwe na kun.
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37. A person should not brag about himself.
Lenape:
37. Matàch awèn kshàkënima hòkaya.
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38. The elders said the insects will bother a person if he tells wintertime stories when it is summer.
Lenape:
38. Luweyok yuki kikayàk muxwèsàk ta awèn nachihkuk ènta athiluwèt nipënëwi.