Friday, September 8th, 2017

Celebrate the Lenape Culture and History with Music, Dance, and Hands-On Fun

Lenape IndianOn Saturday, Oct. 7, from 12 noon to 4 p.m., spend the afternoon at the Great Swamp in Chatham Township celebrating the original inhabitants of New Jersey, the Ramapough Lenape People, at Lenape Day. Meet tribe members, enjoy a traditional drum circle, dancers in regalia, historic tools and artifacts, and much more.

For thousands of years, before European settlers arrived, the Lenape Indians lived in New Jersey forests, hunting for deer and bear, living in handmade wigwams, fashioning dugout canoes from tulip poplar trees, and carving their tools out of rock and bone. They lived close to the land, existing in balance with nature.

The Lenape are not a thing of the past, but rather an important part of New Jersey’s heritage today. “Lenape Day provides an authentic experience for both the Lenape and visitors,” said Jenny Gaus Myers, Superintendent of Environmental Education at the Morris County Park Commission. “Festivities take place in the woods surrounding a replica wigwam, which delivers a historically accurate depiction of Lenape life. The environment of the Great Swamp makes Lenape Day a favorite of the Lenape Indians and a memorable and fun day for all visitors.”

Lenape Indians performing a danceEnjoy many hands-on activities, such as molding a clay pot by the fire, making fire without matches, and playing the games that Lenape children played.

Take a guided walk on the wooded trails to discover how the Lenape used local plants to meet their needs, or explore the interior of the wigwam, set up as it would have been hundreds of years ago.

Admission is $5 per person age 3 and up, and the event will be held rain or shine. This event in sponsored by Whole Foods Market and snacks will be available for purchase. For more information and directions to the Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center in Chatham Township, visit morrisparks.net or call 973.635.6629.