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Arts Playlist: Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware mural

A Cheyney University professor and painter is helping mark Native American Heritage Month with a mural depicting the story of the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware.



Marietta Dantonio-Madsen is pursuing her doctorate at Wilmington University and needed to work with a group on research for her dissertation.

She says she immediately thought of the Lenape Indian Tribe. She notes the 10-foot by 6-foot-mural she’s created with 10 of her students and some volunteers required extensive research.


“I was so delighted; I was graciously welcomed by the elders and the Lenape community," said Dantonio-Madsen. ?And I gave them the parameters of what I wanted them to do so I could do this project with them.”

The Lenape community in Cheswold assisted Dantonio-Madsen with her research and weighed in on what it wanted included on the mural.


“On the left side of the mural there is a ship resembling the Kalmar Nyckel, which is the colonization symbol where it approached tribal lands in Delaware. Also on the left side, we see a beautiful peach tree,” Dantonio-Madsen said.


The mural is on display at the Biggs Museum in Dover through January 2020.

Madsen adds she plans to help the Lenape get prints of the mural made so they can sell them to raise money toward building a cultural center on their original land in Delaware.


Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.