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For thousands of years this land was inhabited by the Lenape people. They belonged to tribes or clans symbolized by the wolf, the turtle or the turkey. These three animals also represented the three key elements on which the Lenape people relied for their survival - earth, water and sky - the three natural domains of all living creatures.
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A northern branch of the Lenape or Delaware Indians, the Munsee tribe fished, farmed and hunted on this island. William Penn described their appearance as "tall, straight, well-built . . . ? they tread strong." The homeland of the Lenape, Lenapehoking, was a vast domain that stretched along the Atlantic Coast from what is now New York Bay to Delaware Bay, between the Hudson and Delaware valleys.
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The land on which you presently stand originally formed the edge of the largest body of fresh water on the island now called Manhattan. On rocky bluffs to the west of this large pond, indigenous peoples feasted on oysters that were commonly as large as one foot. Expert navigators, the Lenape carved boats from timber logs by burning and scraping. These ocean-going vessels were used for traveling, fishing and whaling.
The place where the sun is born. · Menesenek · On the island Munsee. · People of the Stony Country. · Hay - La - Py - Ee Chen Quay - Hee - Lass