Munsee Indians Summary

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Munsee Indians During in the 17th century, European colonists forced an Indian group out of their homeland. During that time, the island of Manhattes (now known as Manhattan) was sold for 60 guilders to Peter Minut. While the sale of Manhattan is well recognized throughout history, the Native people who originally resided in that area remains somewhat obscure. The Indian group that the book mainly focused on was the Munsee Indians, a subgroup of the Delawares or otherwise known as the Lenapes. With using countless research throughout many years, anthropologist Robert S. Grumet wanted to unravel the forgotten details about the Munsee Indians. The book goes into depth to learn more about their civilization during the Dutch period to the late …show more content…
The Munsee people were considered the Wolf clan. They were known to be the oldest clan within the Pennsylvanian and New York territory. The Munsee people were the hunters and meat gatherers in the Munsee Country. Within their clan, the matrilineal line played an important role in their heritage, status, and identity. Each clan or phratries took on the women’s last name. They traced their ancestry through generations of women related by blood to one another. The Munsees would use their lineage as a way to pass on their land to their blood-kin. To prevent incest among lineage members, boys and men were required to move out of their household into different communities throughout their life. They would live with their wives in various places until they grow old. As elders, the men would move back to where they started and live with their sisters and maternal …show more content…
Once the European colonists settled in the Munsee country, they brought war, epidemics, and disasters to the land. Approximately, two thousand Munsee men, women, and children died during the war with the Dutch. Alcohol was another cause of death due to fights, exposure, and alcohol trade. However, microbes caused the biggest decline in the Munsee population. Many people, particularly elderly and young people were susceptible to influenza, measles, and smallpox. It spread like wild fire and struck many communities throughout the region. With the decline in their population, many Munsees accepted adoption into other Indian nations like the Susquehannocks and Iroquois. Others decided to leave their land and escaped the invading colonists and their

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