Lenape Native Americans originally inhabited Kennett Square area. This indigenous group lived in Canada and the United States. Name Lenape, comes from Lenni which means ‘real person’ or ‘original person’. They had a matrilineal clan system.
They covered the area of present-day eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, western Long Island, and the Hudson Valley. They had a matrilineal kingship clan system and had 3 major clans divided into 12 sub-clans. Three major clans were Wolf, Turtle, and Turkey clan. Male children’s mentor was the mother’s eldest brother and had a more significant role in their life than their father, who was usually a member of another clan. They had animosity with Iroquois and Susquehannocks, but they practiced the adoption of young captives from warfare into their tribe and assimilating them as full members. Their downfall began with the arrival of the European colonist and the beginning of the inter-tribal conflicts. Furthermore, they got divided and pushed through the US during the American Revolutionary War, they got pushed far west to Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Ontario.
Lenape Native Americans were farmers and hunters. Land that they cultivated didn’t have an owner, it belongs to the tribe, and meaning of ownership of the land was unknown in their culture. They lived in fixed settlements, and they cultivated the surrounding area and hunt. Once the resources were exhausted, they would just move to another land and that is known as agricultural shifting. Women practiced companion planting and did cultivation of maize, beans, and squash. Men, on the other hand, practiced hunting, and the harvesting of seafood. They did an exchange of goods with early settlers, so they would trade vegetables and meats for iron tools. The Lenape skill of doing clothes from natural materials was on a high level. They used beaver pelts and bear skins, which they also traded with early settlers. For decoration purposes, they painted their skin, made ornaments made of stones, shells, animal claws, and teeth. Overall it was an advanced and organized group which last Chester County member known as Indian Hannah (Hannah Freeman) lived from 1730 till 1802.