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Traditional Lenape lands, the Lenapehoking, was a large territory that encompassed the Delaware Valley of eastern Pennsylvania (especially the Poconos and New Jersey from the north bank Lehigh River along the left bank Delaware thence south into Delaware and the Delaware Bay.Their lands also extended west from western Long Island and New York Bay, across the Lower Hudson Valley in New York into the lower Catskills and a sliver of the upper edge of the North Branch Susquehanna River.In the 1860s, the United States government sent most Lenape remaining in the eastern United States to the Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma and surrounding territory) under the Indian removal policy.
Ethnicity seems to have mattered little to the Lenape and many other "tribes".Members of each clan were found throughout Lenape territory and clan lineage was traced through the mother.While clan mothers controlled the land, the houses, and the families, the clan fathers provided the meat, cleared the fields, built the houses, and protected the clan. The practice effectively prevented inbreeding, even among individuals whose kinship was obscure or unknown.Hereditary leadership passed through the maternal line, and women elders could remove leaders of whom they disapproved.
Agricultural land was managed by women and allotted according to the subsistence needs of their extended families.
The tribe's other name, "Delaware," is not of Native American origin.