ABOUT CULTURAL MAPPING
When European colonizers came to Turtle Island (North America), they brought with them the idea that nature was something that could be owned, commodified, and exploited. By listening to the deep wisdom of the Indigenous people of Turtle Island, we can begin to heal our relationship with the land and with all living things.
Our passionate founder and board member RuthAnn Purchase manages a Lenape Cultural Mapping project that uses oral history, research, and the arts to collect and protect Indigenous stewardship traditions for future generations.
About LENAPE CULTURAL MAPPING
During 2019 and 2020, we organized 4 workshops funded by Delaware Humanities. Each workshop included a local tour with young people and elders, students and teachers. Our learning began with an attempt to restore ancestral knowledge via Citizen Science & Photography. A tour of the gardens at Winterthur involved Field Sketching & Medicinal Plants. Visiting Bombay Hook National Wild Life Refuge on a blustery day led to Cold Ears & Worn Moccasins.
The last workshop was really a hands on work party that involved Clearing Rubbish & Planning Plantings on Tribal Lands.
This effort has been documented as printable PDF files and involved partnering with several local organizations, notably — Lenape Cultural Center, Cheswold Lenape, Bridgeton Nanticoke-Lenape, Allegheny Seneca, Delaware State University, Immanuel Union United Methodist Church, University of Delaware, Delaware Humanities, Brown Horticultural Learning Center, Winterthur Library and Gardens, Bombay Hook National Wild Life Refuge, Davey Tree Company, and the University of Delaware’s Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center.
Also during the pandemic, we continued our cultural mapping work via online presentations. We recommend you start with this one:
- The Ethnobotany of the Lenape, May 2020, by Dr Roger Mustalish & Jon Cox with ACEER
And then dive into these based on interest:
- Photography for Citizen Science Apps, April 2020, by Jon Cox with University of Delaware
- Introduction to Citizen Science, May 2020, by John Junck & Jon Cox with University of Delaware
- Natural Dye Lecture & Workshop, May 2020, by Jocelyn Alcántara García with University of Delaware
- History of Cordage & Net-making with fiber plants, Jul 2020, by Annabelle Camp with University of Delaware
- How to Make Cordage, Jul 2020, by Annabelle Camp with University of Delaware Program
Also during 2019, University of Delaware professor Jon Cox and the University’s Partnership for Arts & Culture worked with Chief Dennis Coker of the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware on an indigenous perspective on coastal hazards and sea level rise.
This project with the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware is a crucial component of a funded interdisciplinary project titled, Building Resilience Awareness: Documenting Coastal Hazards and Sea-level Rise Impacts Statewide. Stories and imagery have the potential to create greater awareness about statewide sea-level rise (SLR) and intensifying storms (IS) impacts and resulting resiliency concerns. In this project we are raising public awareness of SLR and IS impacts through storytelling and a participatory app.
The most significant accomplishment of the project was getting Lenape Community members together and starting a conversation about what steps and projects the community members wanted to work on next. A video was produced of Lenape community members talking about their perspective on rising waters and intensifying storms.
Page last updated: Jan 24, 2022