The Amish

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  • Topic: Amish, Mennonite, Shunning
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  • Published : January 15, 2013
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The Amish
Tiffany Capehart
ANT 101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Jennifer Hotzman
12/10/12

The Amish Community is very interesting to me. I enjoyed the research and all I have learned by writing this paper. I am going to write this paper on the Amish ways. This paper will include the Amish history, beliefs, economic status and their organization.

Amish History
The Amish (also called Amish Mennonites) are all members of an Anabaptist Christian denomination who are especially known for their separation from society and rejection of most modern technology. The Amish arose from a schism among Swiss Mennonites in 1693. The Mennonite leader Jakob Amman (1656-1730) and his followers applied the Mennonite practice of shunning very strictly and condemned other Mennonites for not doing so. Many immigrated to North America in the 19th and 20th centuries and those who stayed behind gradually assimilated with Mennonite groups. In 1850, there was a schism between the traditional Old Order Amish and the "New Order" Amish, who accept social change and technological innovation but retain most other Amish practices. There are now about 200,000 Old Order Amish living in more than 200 settlements in the United States and Canada. The largest communities are settled in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas, and others exist in Wisconsin, Missouri, and Minnesota (The Amish, 2004-2012). The Amish migrated from Europe to North America in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (amish studies, 2012). The Amish originated in Europe over 280 years ago. They are presently growing rapidly, and each year new Amish communities are established. They are becoming more known to the world. I think they are best known for their products you find in stores everywhere in today’s world. I buy a lot of their candy (finding them in stores) for my kids, because they have less sugar. My kids love these products. I also love their furniture which is harder to find, the furniture seems to hold up better.

Beliefs
The Amish have basic Christian beliefs. The Amish seek to follow the teachings of Jesus in daily life by loving their enemies and forgiving insults (amish studies, 2012). Which I find hard to do. Amish religious beliefs are virtually the same as that of the Mennonites and other religious reformers. They believe in the importance of individual Bible study and the necessity of living a life free of sin after adult baptism. The Amish are primarily set apart from other Mennonites in their great emphasis on the values of humility, family, community, and separation from the world. The willingness to submit to the will of God, as expressed through group norms, is at odds with the individualism that is central to general American culture (The Amish, 2004-2012). Instruments are prohibited in the Amish, instruments are considered to be worldly and vain. Singing is very important in life of the Amish. The Amish are encouraged to sing while cooking, doing chores, or just taking a walk. The Amish will allow photography to only show their way of life but to take photos of themselves is forbidden due to the second commandment. The Amish are known for their self-made clothing. Men and boys wear broad-brimmed black hats, dark-colored suits, straight-cut coats without lapels, broad fall pants, suspenders, solid-colored shirts and black socks and shoes. Their shirts may fasten with conventional buttons, but their coats and vests fasten with hooks and eyes. Men must grow beards after they marry but are forbidden to have mustaches. Amish women and girls wear bonnets, long full dresses with capes over the shoulders, shawls, and black shoes and stockings; their capes and aprons are fastened with straight pins or snaps. Amish women never cut their hair, which is worn in a bun, and they are not allowed to wear jewelry of any kind (Wittmer, 1970). Shunning (“avoidance") was the practice that set the Amish apart from the Mennonites several...
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