Lenape & Inuit Indians


When comparing The Lenape and The Inuit tribes many similarities and differences can be found in almost all aspects of culture.


The Lenape lived in homes called wigwams. Poles were bent to make the framework of the structure. The framework was then covered in animal hides. Usually one family would occupy an entire house. There was usually a fire pit in the center of the house and a hole in the roof was cut so the smoke could rise.


Most Inuit families had a summer and a winter home. During the summer, almost all of them lived in tents framed with wood and covered in seal or caribou skins. During the winter they lived in a house built around a large hole in the ground. The walls of the house were made of stone, wood, whalebone, and covered in sod. Only when they traveled in the winter did they build snow houses, also know as igloos. The Inuit always used materials that were readily available for building.


Both the Lenape and the Inuit made their homes out of a wooden frame, and the frame was often covered in skins. Also, both had a large hole in the ground in which fires were placed to keep them warm in the winter. It was also necessary to have a hole in the roof so the smoke from the fires could rise.


The Lenape clothes were made from deer and elk hides. Men wore loincloths and women wore skirts. During the summer the Lenape preferred to wear as little clothing as possible. During the winter the Indians wore heavier clothing such as furs and other warm materials. They decorated their clothes with dyes, seashells, religious symbols/charms and any other decorative objects they could find.



The Inuitís clothing was made from the skins of animals. Everyone basically wore the same things: a hooded jacket called a parka, trousers, socks, boots, and mittens. They wore mostly caribou skin, since it was both lightweight and warm. They also used skins from seals, foxes and polar bears. They often decorated their clothes with beads, furs, and good luck charms.


In terms of clothing they had the same idea: to wear furs when itís cold and to decorate their clothing with religious charms and with beads and shells.


These tribes hunted fish and animals and used almost all parts of the animal. The Inuit hunted because they had to but it wasnít as necessary for the Lenape.


The Lenape grew squash, beans, and corn but they were also expert hunters. They hunted a large variety of animals and also fished from rivers in their canoes.


The Inuitís primary food staples were whales, seals, walruses and fish. They also ate caribou, foxes and hares. They hunted both sea animals and the land animals because agriculture was almost impossible in their cold climate.


The Lenape believe that all life began on the back of a great tortoise. The tortoise swam around in the world that was covered in water. Its back became dry land. A single tree grew on that land. The first man grew out from one of the treesí roots. The man was lonely until the first woman grew out of the same tree. Every time a Lenape baby is born the babyís afterbirth is placed in a green sapling tree by the parents. Hand made tobacco pipes were used in many religious ceremonies


The Inuit believed that all of the living world and every part of nature was inhabited by spirits, including the wind and weather, the sun and moon, and all the animals. Some


Inuit believed that human beings had three spirits, one that survives after he dies and lives in the spirit world; one that is literally the "breath" of life that dies when the person dies; and one that is based on the person's name and which is reborn when a baby takes the name of a person who has died. The Inuit believed in a goddess called Sedna who lived in the ocean and controlled the sea mammals, including seals and whales. They also believed that spirits would punish people who did not appease them.


Lenape men made stone tools as well as weapons. These were weapons such