THE ORIGINAL PEOPLE
THE ANCIENT CULTURE AND WISDOM
OF THE LENNI-LENAPE PEOPLE
BY CHIEF QUIET THUNDER AND GREG VIZZI
WINNER OF THE 2022 IndieReader Award for
"CONGRATULATIONS! It is our pleasure to inform you that your book won FIRST PRIZE in the 2022 IRDAs! Post this sticker proudly, knowing that your title was judged by top industry professionals -not merely as a great indie book, -but a great book, period." -IndieReader
Chief Quiet Thunder
Chief Quiet Thunder
teaching at a school jamboree
Greg Vizzi and Chief Quiet Thunder:
friends and collaborators
The Lenape are known by traditional Indians as the Original People. They are the ancestors of all the Algonquin Indian tribes. Dick “Quiet Thunder” Gilbert, was a traditional Lenape Indian elder, educator, and chief.
For three decades, he inspired thousands of students and adults in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and southern New Jersey, thrilling them with his authentic presentations and stories.
The Original People is a compelling collection of the chief’s childhood memories and a history of his tribe. He describes tribal ceremonies, traditions, and social life before contact with Europeans. The book is a tribute to an esteemed Native American and extols the wisdom of his people who enjoyed a peaceful existence for many thousands of years. It is a story few people know. While surrounded by hundreds of handcrafted cultural items, the chief’s delivery was relaxed and sprinkled with humor, captivating his audience with his description of a time and place when Nature was the only world. To his ancestors, “The roof was the sky, the ground was the floor, and life was so simple.” It is a way of life long forgotten.
In his introduction to the Original People, Chief Quiet Thunder said, “I am fortunate to know many of the traditional ways of the Lenni-Lenape. The name Lenni-Lenape means Original People. I developed my beliefs through time spent in the wild, talking to elders, and maintaining the traditional ways. If I can help people gain a better understanding of the native people of North America, then this book will exceed my goals. Mother Earth is the giver of life and the protector of the spirit after life, for all people, not just the Indian people. We have a sacred obligation to protect the Earth and to learn to live in harmony with the earth."
I was honored to collaborate with Chief Quiet Thunder Gilbert over a ten year period to produce this book about the Lenni-Lenape people. The Original People is based on many hours of video and audio interviews, recorded conversations, and stories by the chief. The book, written in the Chief's own words, comes directly from the oral history of his people. His description of Lenape Indian culture and traditions won't be found in a history book. He tells personal stories of his life growing up, and how he became an educator, teaching people about his culture and traditions. The book reveals an indigenous worldview and a cultural roadmap for living in harmony with the Earth." -Greg Vizzi