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Delaware of Western Oklahoma (U.S.)

Native American

Last modified: 2012-11-17 by rick wyatt
Keywords: delaware of western oklahoma | oklahoma | native american |
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[Delaware of Western Oklahoma flag] image by Donald Healy, 3 January 2008



See also:


The Band

[Delaware of Western Oklahoma map]
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy

Delaware of Western Oklahoma - Oklahoma

The Delaware are named for the river that flows through their old homelands of Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The river was named for Lord De La Warr, the colonial governor of Virginia who never saw the colony or river bearing his name. In the Algonquin-based tongue of the Delaware, they are the Lenni Lenape, "the True Men".

The Delaware had three major divisions, the Munsee (Wolf clan), the Unami (Turtle clan), and the Unalactigo (Turkey clan) (ENAT, 78-80). These main groups were further divided into many different bands. Over time they lost lands in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, and Texas. By 1835, they had been pushed out of Texas into what is now Kansas and later into Oklahoma.

Outside of Oklahoma, Delaware people now live in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Colorado, Idaho, and Ontario. In Oklahoma, the Delaware are divided into western and eastern groups [see Delaware Tribe].

  Donald Healy 2008


The Flag

The Western Delaware use a light blue flag. "DELAWARE TRIBE OF WESTERN OKLAHOMA" forms an arch of black letters across the top of the flag. Across the bottom, again in black letters, is "ANADARKO, OKLAHOMA", the Delaware's capital, home to the Area Office of all Western Oklahoma Tribes and the American Indian Hall of Fame.

A Tulamokom is centered on the flag (Tulamokom, undated pamphlet). This design, which represents a turtle, one of the three main clans of the Delaware, serves as the tribal logo (Annin & Co.). Tulamokom, "Grandfather turtle", represents the grandfathers of the Delaware, their parents, and the current generation of Delaware (ibid..). The upper portion of Tulamokom's body is blue for the sky and represents tomorrow. The red bottom portion of the turtle is for yesterday and surrounds the moon of last night. The red also tells of the Delaware's past; of the blood of ancestors spilled on the very lands they walk upon today. The sun at the center - divided into yellow and brown - is for the promise of a new tomorrow. Tulamokom, the embodiment of past and future, was designed by Delaware Jim Van Deman, a great-great-grandson of Black Beaver, the famous Lenni Lenape chief.

Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 3 January 2008