The Chatham Rotary at Fishawack this year is proud to host Sherry Lang of the Miller-Cory Museum. She will be on hand to talk about the Lenape Indians and the tradition of Fishawack.

There will be artifacts, agricultural tools, a miniature long house, skins and hides, a hand carved mask, and numerous other implements used in their daily lives. Lang will explain the rich cultural history of the Lenni Lenape Indians (aka the Delaware Indians), a tribe indigenous to New Jersey and along the Delaware River during the pre-colonization period. She will be there to answer questions and will do a presentation at 1:30 p.m. Our tent is located on Fairmount Avenu across from Fish and Game.

The Chatham Rotary will be on hand with free face painting and balloons. The Rotary will be selling a coloring book, about the rich history of the Lenape and the Fishawack celebration, and a Chatham Christmas tree ornament. The money raised goes to our scholarship efforts, the Dictionary Program and our Rotary Youth Leadership Award winners. We will also be starting a new recognition project for high school juniors next year.

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Here is some more information on the tradition of Fishawack.

Fishawack, celebrates the Lenape’s crossing of the Passaic River to harvest and preserve fish to feed their families throughout the year. When the river was full, with long, narrow boats hand-hewn from the bark of the tulip tree, the Lenape Indians set out to catch fish.  They brought the huge nets they made by pulling and weaving threads from the surplus bark.  They lay the nets in the water over a fairly sizable stretch, and scooped up the fish as they swam.  Fish were eaten, dried, and stored.  There is so much more to this great culture, renowned for its moral convictions, matrilineal blood lines, and vision quests