The Lenape: Lower New York’s First Inhabitants


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This Saturday, November 13th, at 7:00 pm, Historic Huguenot Street will host another in its Second Saturday Lecture Series. David M. Oestreicher will combine archaeological and historical evidence with decades of firsthand ethnographic and linguistic research among present-day Lenape traditionalists, to arrive at a full picture of the Lenape from prehistory to the present. The presentation includes a slide program featuring native artifacts, maps, illustrations, and photographs, as well as images of contemporary Lenape who are among the last repositories of their culture. This lecture offers a unique opportunity to learn about lower New York’s original inhabitants, the Lenape — not the romanticized figures of popular mythology or new-age literature, but a living people as they really are.

Dr. David M. Oestreicher is recognized as a leading authority on the Lenape (Delaware), our region’s first inhabitants, having conducted linguistic and ethnographic research among the last tribal traditionalists for over 30 years. Oestreicher is curator of the award-winning traveling exhibition, In Search of the Lenape: The Delaware Indians, Past and Present, which critic William Zimmer in the New York Times described as “an extended reverie,” capturing “the vitality and poignancy of the Lenape saga.” Oestreicher’s writings have appeared in leading scholarly journals and books, and he completed the final portion of the late Herbert C. Kraft’s The Lenape-Delaware Indian Heritage: 10,000 B.C. – 2000 A.D. — a tome subsequently hailed by scholars as the seminal work on the Lenape. Oestreicher’s monograph, “The Munsee and Northern Unami Today” in The Archeology and Ethnohistory of the Lower Hudson Valley and Neighboring Regions (1991), marked the first ethnographic account of the Hudson River Lenape (now the Canadian Delaware) since the work of anthropologists M. R. Harrington (1908, 1913, 1921) and Frank G. Speck (1945).

Cost: $8 per person/$6 for Friends of Huguenot

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