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LCCC Celebrates Native American Heritage Month

Sapphire Kinrad | Writer



November 1 marks the first day of Native American Heritage Month. This is the time of year taken to pay tribute to the traditions and history of our nation's first Americans.


In observance of this special month, Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC), invited Carla Messinger, a member of the Lenape tribe and Director of Native American Cultural Heritage Programs on Local Lenape Lifeways. She was invited to arrange the “Native American Contributions” exhibit here at LCCC on November 8. 


The purpose of this exhibit was to demonstrate how Native American inventions contributed to the development of modern tools as well as to demonstrate how everything was accomplished efficiently by them. 


Messinger mentioned that Native Americans had weapons, but they, “Were used for completely different purposes.”


A ball-headed war club was used to disable or disarm others, but not to kill anyone. A tomahawk— modernly called an ax— was constructed with a hole at the back for tobacco and was used for a specific purpose.


“Tobacco wasn’t a commonly used medication and was originally meant for healing,” Messinger said. “Men would put it in the back of their tomahawks and chop from the front.”


Messinger said she is a part of the Lenape tribe who have a deep history in the town of Pennsylvania. This tribe in particular was nomadic and had to move all the time because of having to settle near rivers and creeks.


To learn more about the Lenape tribe and their history or heritage, visit lenapeprograms.info

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