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The Rumanchenank were a Lenape people who inhabited the region radiating from the Palisades in New York and New Jersey at the time of European colonialization in the 17th century.[1][2] Settlers to the provincial colony of New Netherland called them the Haverstroo meaning oat straw, which became Haverstraw in English, and still used to describe part of their territory.

Like the Tappan, whose territory overlapped, the Rumanchenank were a seasonally migrational people, who farmed (companion planting), hunted, fished, and trapped. As all Lenape tribes, they were divided into clans, in this case Wolf, Turkey, and Turtle. They spoke the Munsee dialect of Lenape. They, as well as the Hackensack, Raritan, Wappinger, Canarsee, were collectively known as the River Indians. Those groups living in the adjoining highlands to the west and valley to north have become known as the Munsee,[3] and sometimes the Esopus. The Haverstraws were the tribesmen who had the trouble with Verrazzano and the crew of the Half Moon while that vessel was anchored near Stony Point in 1609.[4]

On 6 March 1660, a representative of the Rumanchenank took part, with other local leaders, in a peace treaty with the settlers at New Amsterdam,[5] capital of the province. Various land conveyances in 1666, 1671, 1683, and 1685 involved the Haverstraw,[6] and indicate their territory as having been on disputed lands involved in the New York-New Jersey Line War, which was not finally settled until the 18th century.

In 1664 after the supremacy of the English, the Rumanchenank were absorbed by the Tappans.[7]

Some Rumachenanck may have become part of the Ramapough Mountain Indians.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Wright, Kevin W. "THE INDIGENOUS POPULATION OF BERGEN COUNTY". Bergen County Historical Society. Retrieved 2008-08-13.
  3. ^ Indian Tribes of Hudson's River; Ruttenber,E.M.; Hope Farm Press, 3rd ed, 2001, ISBN 0-910746-98-2
  4. ^ Tompkins, Arthur S. "Historical Records to the Close of the 19th Century of Rockland County, NY," (PDF). Van Deusen and Joyce. Retrieved 2013-03-11.
  5. ^ "Documents relative to the colonial history of the State of New York". Retrieved 2008-12-19.
  6. ^ Indian Tribes of Hudson's River; Ruttenber,E.M.; Hope Farm Press, 3rd ed, 2001, ISBN 0-910746-98-2
  7. ^ Ruttenber, E.M. History of the Indian Tribes of Hudson's River: Their Origin, Manners and Customs, Tribal and Sub-tribal Organizations, Wars, Treaties, Etc.,. J.Munsell. Retrieved 2013-03-10.