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Raritan (Native Americans)

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Title: Raritan (Native Americans)  
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Subject: New Netherland, Hudson County, New Jersey, Raritan, Greenville, Jersey City, Gateway Region, Droyer's Point, Hackensack tribe, Toponymy of Bergen, New Netherland, Communipaw, Tappan tribe
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Raritan (Native Americans)

Raritan was the name given by Europeans in the seventeenth century who colonized the region around what is now called the Raritan River and its bay, to the Native American bands of Lenape people then living in what is now northeastern New Jersey and Staten Island, New York.

It is generally believed[weasel words] that the name comes from one of the Lenape languages (among the languages in the Algonquian language group), though there are a variety of interpretations as to its meaning. It may be a derivation of Naraticong [1] meaning "river beyond the island", or Roaton or Raritanghe, names of a group which had come from across the Hudson[2] and displaced the previous population known as Sanhican.[3] (who moved to farther into the interior).[4] Alternatively, Raritan is a Dutch pronunciation of wawitan or rarachons, meaning "forked river" or "stream overflows".[5]

The Raritan had early contact with settlers in the colony of New Netherland. William Kieft, governor of New Netherland, planned an extermination campaign against them, on the pretext of pigs being stolen from a farm on present-day Staten Island. The attack against the American Indians, while not causing much damage, was a contributing event to the bands' allying in Kieft's War against the settlements of New Netherland.[6][7]

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