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Next with more distant neighbors who spoke the same dialect; and ultimately, with all those in the surrounding area who spoke mutually comprehensible languages, including the Nanticoke people, who lived to their south and west in present western Delaware and eastern Maryland, and the Munsee, who lived to their north.By 1682, when William Penn arrived to his American commonwealth, the Lenape had been so reduced by disease, famine, and war that the sub-clan mothers had reluctantly resolved to consolidate their families into the main clan family.While clan mothers controlled the land, the houses, and the families, the clan fathers provided the meat, cleared the fields, built the houses, and protected the clan. The practice effectively prevented inbreeding, even among individuals whose kinship was obscure or unknown.This means that a male from the Turkey Clan was expected to marry a female from either the Turtle or Wolf clans.Hereditary leadership passed through the maternal line, and women elders could remove leaders of whom they disapproved.
Members of each clan were found throughout Lenape territory and clan lineage was traced through the mother.
Their lands also extended west from western Long Island and New York Bay, across the Lower Hudson Valley in New York into the lower Catskills and a sliver of the upper edge of the North Branch Susquehanna River.
On the west side, the Delaware people The Lenape lived in numerous small towns along the rivers and streams that fed the waterways, and likely shared the hunting territory of the Schuylkill River watershed with the rival Iroquoian Susquehannock.
Like most tribes, Lenape communities were weakened by newly introduced diseases originating in Europe, mainly smallpox but also cholera, influenza and dysentery, and recurrent violent racial conflict with Europeans. As the 18th century progressed, many surviving Lenape moved west—into the (relatively empty) upper Ohio River basin.
During the decades of the 18th century, most Lenape were pushed out of their homeland by expanding European colonies.
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As in the case of the Iroquois & Susquehannocks, the animosity of differences and competitions spanned many generations, and in general tribes with each of the different language groups became traditional enemies in the areas they'd meet.