by Imani Vieira
The Bowery traces the original north/south Lenape trail through Manahatta. At what we now refer to as Astor Place, there was a crossroads which became a central meeting point of three distinct Lenape groups: the Canarsie, Sapohannikan, and Manhattan. This site was known as Kintecoying.
Village Preservation describes an idea of Kintecoying saying that “in keeping with traditions for meeting places, a large oak or elm tree would most likely have existed at this spot, under which leaders from each group would meet to discuss issues, trade, and play games…including bagettaway, better known as lacrosse.”
When the Dutch first arrived in 1624, there were estimated to be 15,000 Lenape people living in Mannahatta; it is believed they had been living in Lenapehoking for more than six thousand years. Today, there are people throughout North America, including five sovereign nations based in Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Ontario, who have had a continuous, unbroken history of being Lenape community.
Hadrian Coumens, co-founder of the Lenape Center, was quoted in 2020 to say:
“For a city that prides itself on being inclusive and welcoming of everyone, this is ironically the one peoples that have not been welcomed home in a formal way.
The City and the State of New York should establish government-to-government relations with the federally recognized tribes and identify ways that the city could be a support for tribal members by facilitating access to resources, whether that be education, or employment, or internship, or even visitations….
Let the 15,000 or so members of the federally recognized tribes know that they are welcome, that they are an essential part of life in New York.” – from Urban Omnibus
Official website of the Delaware Tribe
Home in Lenapehoking – Urban Omnibus interview with co-founders of the Lenape Center
The Welikia Project: Discover the original geography and ecosystems that once inhabited the island of Manahatta prior to colonization
Lenape Talking Dictionary: The official dictionary of the Lenape.
Remembering the Original New Yorkers, Village Preservation