Indiana Amish Series


The photos for this postcard series were taken in early November 2019 in the Northeastern part of Indiana in Lagrange and Elkhart Counties.  Each autumn, I like to visit the towns of Middlebury and Shipshewana for an old-style delicious Amish meal at the various Amish restaurants in that area and do some shopping.  The Amish make beautiful , high quality quilts and furniture.  

In some parts of Indiana, it is very common to see horse drawn buggies on the road with cars and trucks.  You will see men with long beards (no mustaches) wearing straw hats and suspenders (no belts), and women in plain dresses in conservative colors wearing a prayer kapp (a typically white "bonnet" that covers her hair).

Indiana is home to the third largest Amish settlement in the United States.  The oldest and largest Amish settlement in Indiana was founded in 1841, and it straddles eastern Elkhart County and the western half of Lagrange County.

While the Amish are well known for their farming, animal husbandry, woodworking, and baking, many Amish men and boys in Elkhart and Lagrange Counties work in Recreational Vehicle (RV) manufacturing factories. 

The Amish are a Christian sect with Swiss German Anabaptists origins. There are four main groups of Amish: the Old Order, the New Order, the Beachy Amish, and Amish Mennonites - all with many subgroups and different rules within each subgroup.

The Amish are known for simple living, plain dress, and a reluctance to use many items of modern technology.  Most Amish groups forbid owning automobiles, using electricity, owning a television, radio or computer, attending school after the 8th grade,  or joining the military.  Photos are banned.  The Amish are pacifists and shun all violence.  

Early Anabaptists formulated their beliefs as set forth in the Schleitheim Confession of 1527.  The Schleitheim Confession consists of seven articles.  Among these are (1) Baptism of repentant adults (infant baptism is specifically rejected), (2) Excommunication of those who slip into sin: sinners are to be admonished twice in secret with the third offence openly disciplined and an excommunication as a final recourse, (3) Communion is in remembrance of Christ's body and blood and should only be given to and received by those adults who have been baptized, (4) Separation from Evil (shunning).  There is to be no fellowship with those who live in contradiction to God's commands, (5) Pastors in the Church should be men of good repute (no professional priesthood), (6) Pacifism/Nonresistance - violence must not be used in any circumstance, and (7) No oaths should be taken because Jesus prohibited the taking of oaths and swearing.

The Amish sect arose from a late-seventeenth century schism in the Anabaptist church by followers of Jakob Amman who was a Swiss minister who believed that the Amish should conform to the teachings of Jesus and his apostles and forsake the world in their daily lives.  The word "Amish" derives from his name.  

At home and at worship, Indiana Amish speak a Swiss-German dialect.  They also learn English to communicate with non-Amish people.

It is important to note that while the Amish do not own or operate motorized vehicles, the do not consider cars and trucks to be inherently evil.  Car ownership is rejected because fast, easy transportation can weaken communal ties and free up time that might be used for evil purposes.  Amish may ride in busses, cars, and trucks when necessary - especially when they go on longer trips.

Additional Information can be found here:

Indiana Amish

The Amish

Amish Buggies

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