Burial Customs

It is the custom among the Lenni-Lenapes, or Delaware Indians, to bury their dead in a shallow grave, in a flexed position, turned toward the east. Since they believe that life continues after death, personal possessions such as spears, bowls, and articles of clothing, are often buried with them. In the old days the graves were lined with stones to protect the dead from wolves and a handful of ashes was collected from the hearth of the deceased to be thrown into the grave before closing. The Lenape graves are not marked by headstones, but are carefully tended by relatives who remove weeds and keep the grass neatly trimmed.


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©2003 Robin Hathaway