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Monday, 27 October 2014

Lenape Legends

Lenape Legends

Hi dear friends and welcome again to the Native American legends

Today's legends come to us from the Lenape (Delaware) People, the original inhabitants of what is now the State of New Jersey. There are two legends.

The first is the legend of how the Pleiades came to be, as the Lenape saw it. You can compare it to Onondaga legend or those of the Abenaki on the same subject and see that they had quite a divergent view.

There is also a Vermont Abenaki legend that talks about the maple tree. You might want to have a look at it to learn how they saw the maple tree.

Both legends presented here have been told by the same man. I have included the legend of the maple tree in the Lenape language with English translation.
I am thankful that you share your time with me and these myths and legends. Please tell me what you think about them. Ask me what you will. I might not be able to answer your questions but I sure would love hearing from you!

The Seven Wise Men

Told by Chief Bob Red Hawk

Edited by Louise St. Amour

At one time there were seven wise men who lived among the people. They were so wise that the people would constantly come to them, day and night. It got so bad that the seven men decided, “We have to get away. We need to have some peace. We can’t have people coming to our wikewams everyday and asking us myriads of questions."

So what they did was they decided, "We’ll go away from the village a little up into the mountain and turn ourselves into boulders, big rocks. "

And everything was fine but one day this one young man was out hunting and he happened to see these seven boulders that were a little different than any rocks he had ever seen before. So he started coming back to them every day and eventually he found that if he whispered to the rocks, the rocks would talk back to him. He was shocked. But, the rocks were answering his questions.

Well, it wasn’t long before he went back to thestarted  village and told the people about these seven wonderful stones that they could ask questions to. So the people leaving the village and coming up the mountain to the seven rocks. So soon the seven wise men said, “We’ve got to change. We’ve got to get away. We’ve had no peace here now.


So they went up on top of the mountain and turned themselves into seven beautiful cedar trees. And there they stood and they felt the winds blowing through their needles and just felt at peace. But it wasn’t long before the people started noticing that these seven beautiful trees had beautiful songs coming from them. And it wasn’t long before the people realized that these were the seven wise men that they could go to for their answers. So then the seven wise men said “What do we do? We need some time away from everybody. We need some time in the stillness and peace."

And then they looked up and they thought “Let’s turn into seven stars, so that we can still look down on the people, but the people can’t come and bother us too much.” So they turned themselves into the seven stars that some people call the Pleiades and from there they stand today and look out over our people.

The Story of the Maple Tree

Told by Bob Red Hawk

Transcribed and Translated into Lenape by Amira Silver-Swartz

Edited by Louise St. Amour




Many, many moons ago one of the most beautiful trees around was the maple. And its roots reached deep into the earth and its branches reached high in the heavens. But at one time, a large group of bugs crawled into the maple’s bark. And it was itching the maple. It was driving the maple tree crazy. 'Cause even though the maple tree had many branches and shoots and roots it could not bend down and reach all parts of itself.

So it called out to all its friends in the animal kingdom. It called out and said “Can someone please give me some relief from all this itching?”

So the beaver said “Well, maple tree, I can probably do it, but if I start chewing on your bark it’ll probably kill you. So that would not help you that much.”

And then the little mouse said “Maple tree, I can dig down into your roots and get my brothers the voles and the moles and the gophers but we’ll end up starting to kill your roots and that will kill you.”

So then the bear said “Well, maple tree I have these nice big claws I could start clawing at your bark but that will probably shred you up.”
So then they are all trying to think. Finally one of the birds was flying by and it was a flicker. And the flicker said “Well, maple tree, I have a cousin. How about I get all these cousins to come and their beaks are sharp, and they can dig in you but they won’t hurt you.”


So he called all of his woodpecker friends and they flew over and started pecking at the tree and got all the bugs out of him. The tree was so happy. And everything was going along nicely and all of a sudden for a couple of years

there was very little rain. It got very dry and all of the animals were getting very thirsty. The creeks and rivers had all dried up and they did not know where to go.

They were all bemoaning the fact and the maple tree heard them. And the maple tree said “You know, the animals helped me the time I was suffering from all those bugs biting 

Thank you again for dropping in to read the Native American legends. I hope you have enjoyed. I would appreciate knowing what your thought. Thank you and have a wonderful week.
ڰۣIn Loving Light from the Fairy Ladyڰۣ

Lenape language with English translation continued next.


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