Newcomb, William Wilmon, 1921-. The culture and acculturation of the Delaware Indians

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Part I. Early Historic Delaware Culture

I. Delaware Origins And Affiliations

Delaware Prehistory: A Summary

Traditional Origins

The Location And Divisions Of The Early Historic Delawares

Linguistic Affiliations

Population In The Seventeenth Century

Ii. The Reconstruction Of Delaware Culture


Delaware Technology


Delaware Economics

Division Of Labor

Annual Round

Property Concept And Hunting Territories

Material Culture

Iii. Delaware Sociology

Life Cycle

Pregnancy And Birth

Education And Training Of Children



Kin Groups

Nineteenth-century Kinship Terms And Principles

Modern Kinship Terms

A Reconstruction Of The Early Historic Kinship Terminology

Clan And Phratry

Social Control


Informal Controls


Iv. Delaware Ideology

Religion And Magic

Supernatural Beings

Approaches To The Supernatural

Soul Concept

The Big House Ceremony

Minor Ceremonies




Thunder Myths

Great Horned Serpent Myths

Mythological Giants

A Summary Of Delaware Culture

Part Ii. Delaware Culture Change

V. Delaware Acculturation

The Contact Period (1524–1690)



The Period Of Consolidation (1690–1750)


Nativistic Period (1750–1814)



Decadent Period (1814–1867)



Vi. Delaware Assimilation

Settlement Pattern

Technological Assimilation

Sociological Assimilation

Religious Assimilation

Linguistic Assimilation


Cherokee-delaware Pan-indianism

A Summary And Analysis Of Delaware Acculturation

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: The culture and acculturation of the Delaware Indians

Published By: Original publisher Ann Arbor: University of Michigan. 1956. 141 p. ill.

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication by William W. Newcomb, Jr.

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2003. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Delaware (NM07)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF History (175); Acculturation and culture contact (177); Hunting and trapping (224); Tillage (241); Kinship terminology (601); Lineages (613); Clans (614); Community heads (622); Burial practices and funerals (764); Mourning (765); Spirits and gods (776); Organized ceremonial (796); Socialization (860);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document This source, by a professional anthropologist, is the most thorough survey of Delaware literature available. While the author spent two summers among the modern Delaware, and uses some of the material gathered to show how the culture has changed, most of the material in the book has been gathered from the literature from contact time onward. The author describes the development of Delaware culture from a number of autonomous groups, and reconstructs the culture under the following headings: technology, economics, material culture, life cycle, kin groups, social control, war, religion and magic, and folklore. In addition to this balanced description, the last third of the work deals with the historical changes which occurred in Delaware culture as a result of contact with the whites, and the extent to which acculturation occurred at various time periods up to the present.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 2

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. nm07-002

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 132-141)

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1951-1952

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Anthropologist-4,5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. James R. Leary ; 1961

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). ca. 1400 - 1950

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) eastern Pennsylvania, southeastern New York, northern New Jersey, Oklahoma, United States

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Delaware Indians


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