- How does the role of women in Lenape legends and spirituality reflect the role of women in Lenape culture and society?
2. For my project, I will be using various Lenape legends and spiritual practices as a lens to investigate how they intersect and reflect the role of women. By looking into the Lenape creation story, the woman dance, the doll dance, the story of the girl who joined the thunders, and more, I will reveal the cyclical relationship between Lenape legions and the role of women. My project will essentially explain how Lenape spirituality reflects the role of women and the role of women reflects Lenape spirituality.
3. For this project, I plan on writing a historical op-ed. I think this will be the best way for me to do my research topic justice and hopefully best represent the Lenape people’s legends and its intersection with the role of women.
4. CAFFREY, MARGARET M. “Complementary Power: Men and Women of the Lenni Lenape.” The American Indian Quarterly 24, no. 1 (2000): 44. Gale Academic OneFile (accessed February 20, 2021). https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A63537180/AONE?u=temple_main&sid=AONE&xid=4ed851d1.
“Complementary Power: Men and Women of the Lenni Lenape” sheds light on gender roles in Lenape society. It discusses how rather than equal or imbalanced, the Lenape perceived of men and women as complementary. This piece discusses specific roles and what kind of customs/traditions women participated in which I intend to use when explaining how gender roles were not as rigid as they are in the Western world.
Kay, Michael Nicky. Lenape Women in a Transitional Culture. Oklahoma State University, May 1, 1999. https://shareok.org/handle/11244/11802.
“Lenape Women in a Transitional Culture” primarily focuses on how Lenape women coped with the cultural changes settler colonialism forced upon them. I plan on using this piece to investigate the different spiritual traditions women participated in such as the doll dance as it parallels their identity within the Lenape community. I also plan on using Kay’s information on Lenape women today in my conclusion as I zoom outwards to see the greater impact of spirituality in Lenape women today.
Hoag Whitehorn, Lillie. “Lenape Talking Dictionary.” The Lenape Talking Dictionary | Stories – Xkweyok Enta Naxkuhëmënt Enta Këntkahtit. Accessed February 28, 2021. https://talk-lenape.org/stories?id=44.
———. “Lenape Talking Dictionary.” The Lenape Talking Dictionary | Stories – Xkweyok Enta Naxkuhëmënt Enta Këntkahtit. Accessed February 28, 2021. https://talk-lenape.org/stories?id=44.
“Origin Story of the Woman Dance” details how the woman dance, a sacred dance practiced in Lenape tradition, came to be. This legend and spiritual tradition demonstrates how there are sacred practices reserved only for women. The closed practice reflects how the Lenape believe in the power of a higher feminine energy that is complementary the male energy. It shows that this more feminine energy is praised and sacred.
Native American Embassy. “The Girl Who Joined The Thunders.” Native American Embassy. Accessed March 13, 2021. http://www.nativeamericanembassy.net/www.lenni-lenape.com/www/html/LenapeArchives/LenapeSet-01/thndrgrl.html.
The tale of “The Girl Who Joined The Thunders” details how a girl becomes a thunder being after being rescued from her captivity under their rivals the serpent beings. In the story, the girl earns the title and spiritual power of the widely respected, awed, and feared thunder beings. The story
Native American Embassy. “The Pretty Maiden.” Native American Embassy. Accessed March 13, 2021. http://www.nativeamericanembassy.net/www.lenni-lenape.com/www/html/LenapeArchives/LenapeSet-01/prtymaid.html.
“The Pretty Maiden” centers around a vain yet beautiful young woman who refuses everyones marriage proposal. The story is essentially a lesson about vanity and how caring about superficial things can be dangerous. Most interestingly, the story does not center so much on the sex of the character, but more so on her character. It does not denote that because she is a woman she is vain or frivolous (as is the case in many Western stories that warn against vanity), but rather the focus is more on the issue of vanity itself.
Nanticoke & Lenape Confederation Learning Center and Museum. “Non-Historical Stories and ‘Prophesies’ – Fiction and Fairy Tales.” Non-Historical Stories and “Prophesies” – Fiction and Fairy Tales | Nanticoke and Lenape Confederation, 2017. https://nanticokelenapemuseum.org/learning-center/curriculum-guidelines/1347/non-historical-stories-and-prophesies-fiction-and-fairy-tales/.
The Nanticoke & Lenape Confederation Learning Center and Museum gives a brief anecdote on the cultural importance of spirituality and the Lenape connection to land. I hope to use this source in my introduction as I set the scene for my audience over how spirituality related to Lenape culture.