I've decided to repost my blog posts formerly featured on the (now defunct) Amish Fiction Authors website. I hope you enjoy them!
DIFFERENT AMISH COMMUNITIES – The Nebraska Amish
If you’ve read a lot about the Amish or studied them in depth, then you likely know there are no two Amish communities exactly alike. We’ve discussed some of the variations amongst the Amish and where they are located. This month, I’d like to explore a very distinct Plain group, known as the Nebraska Amish.
One would think that with the name ‘Nebraska’, you would likely find the group in, well, Nebraska. However, the Nebraska Amish name emerged from their founding bishop, Yost B. Yoder, who was from Nebraska. So, then, where are the Nebraska Amish located?
The Nebraska Amish are situated mostly in Pennsylvania, in the Big Valley (Kishacoquillas Valley) area of Mifflin County. Smaller groups reside in other PA counties, and there is one district in Ohio also. When our family moved from California to Indiana, it gave me an opportunity to not only live among the Amish and make friends, but to explore different Amish communities. The Nebraska Amish community is one I have never visited in person, but it is certainly on my to-do list. Have you been there?
Here are some distinctions about the Nebraska Amish that I’ve learned through my research:
They are considered one of the most conservative Anabaptist groups today.
The men dress mostly in brown (pants and vests) with white shirts.
The women’s dresses are considered the longest among the Amish groups.
Men’s hair is cut longer (to the shoulder) in the ‘William Penn’ style.
Women are not allowed to wear the traditional prayer kapp, but instead wear a black kerchief or, while working out, a flat ‘peasant-style’ straw hat.
Men are not allowed to wear suspenders or belts. Their pants are instead laced up in the back.
Young folks are only allowed to date amongst the Nebraska Amish groups. The courtship practice of bundling is allowed.
Their houses and barns remain unpainted.
Curtains are not allowed in the home, neither are window screens permitted.
No indoor plumbing.
Buggies have undyed white tops.
And that is our introduction to the Nebraska Amish. Did you learn anything new? Have you been to Big Valley or one of the other places where this special group resides? Have you had any interaction with the Nebraska Amish?
I’d love to hear your stories! Please reply to jebspredemann (at) gmail (dot) com.
Amish America, Amish Culture – Nebraska Amish, March 8, 2007
Wikipedia, Nebraska Amish
John Guss, Amish and Mennonite Groups in Big Valley, Fall 2007