A bonnet is a head covering that has been part of Amish traditions for years. Amish people obey to wear one in whatever they are doing or wherever they go.
Wearing of the head covering or bonnets is stated in 1 Corinthians 11. The Bible strongly advises that men are supposed to keep their heads uncovered during prophesying and prayers, while men are to wear their coverings all the time, mainly during prayers.
The Scripture indicates the covering as submission to God. Also, it shows that women are supposed to be prayerful all the time since covering their heads is a rule unless in the confines of their homes.
Despite the men uncovering their heads during their prayers, they ensure they have their hats on wherever they go.
Interestingly, the rule or assumption creates the question that men are not supposed to pray at any moment. It is undeniable that the Amish tradition is stricter for women in comparison to men.
Amish head coverings
An Amish head covering or bonnet is called Kapp (or prayer cover). The Kapp is worn and topped with a black bonnet used by Amish women on different occasions.
Also, how the head coverings are worn and the materials used differ in men and women in the Amish community. The bonnets are made of wool or muslin.
Similarly, the different bonnets worn by the Amish people signify various things. They can symbolize the position in the Amish community, the civil status, prayers, and respect for special occasions.
From the Amish Christian-based practices, the bonnets are more than just a conviction. The bonnets illustrate value to their culture and origin by following this practice. Generally, they indicate that a person is undoubtedly a part of the Amish community.
All Amish bonnets have strings. Although ideally, the strings are meant to be tied, most Amish women do not tie their bonnets. The strings are purposefully made to support the bonnets, although the women use pins to support them.
Old Amish tie their bonnets under their chin while the high Amish do not tie their strings. Generally, the bonnet strings are mainly to keep the bonnets secured on the head and close to their face.
The bonnet strings are made long to tie the bonnets with a bow or a single knot under the chin. However, they set the bonnet slightly off the face so it can fit near to the neck behind.
Why do Amish not tie their bonnets?
Most of the Amish women do not tie their bonnets. While working, the bonnet strings are tied down at the back of the neck.
In lower Amish churches, the bonnet strings are attached tight under the chin, have less starch, and thus form.
The bonnet strings are not tied in the high or progressive communities. Also, married women are allowed to tie their strings.
The strings are not tied for teenage girls and are usually used as a tool to toss when flirting with young teenage boys.
What are the types of Amish bonnets?
Amish women's bonnets are usually made in white and black colors. Amish women typically wear white bonnets after marriage.
They symbolize a lifelong relationship and an "off the market" situation. A man will know if a woman is married by checking the bonnet color.
Men keep their beards long to indicate they are married. Before marriage, the men trim and shave their beards regularly.
Since becoming married portrays manhood, growing a beard aids in symbolizing it. Black bonnets are for young Amish women who are not married. It shows the single status of an Amish woman.
Black bonnets mean a single woman, while white bonnets mean a married woman. Also, apart from color differences, the bonnets are made according to various types of Amish occasions and communities.
Old Order Amish Bonnet
It is the most common among the Old Order Amish and the Amish people. The majority of the Amish Communities in America use this kind of bonnet.
New Order Amish Bonnet
The new Amish order wears it. It varies from the old Amish bonnet in terms of shape, appearance, and material.
Dan Amish Bonnet
It is also known as the Andy Weaver Amish bonnet and originated in 1954. The bonnet looks a lot simpler than the other head coverings. The bonnet fits the head snuggly and is firm.
Pennsylvania Amish widely uses the bonnet. It is different from the other bonnets due to its heart-shaped appearance and lack of peats.
The veil is used by Amish women instead of the bonnet to prevent the bonnet from dirt while running errands and doing chores. The veils are made in black and white colors.
What do the Amish bonnets signify?
Almost everything in the Amish tradition is stemmed from their strong belief in the Bible and God. Similarly, the Amish bonnets are derived from Bible verses.
That is why the bonnet's significance is rooted and understood clearly in the Amish people's minds. As stated in Corinthians 11, wearing a bonnet indicate submission to God and the Amish separation from society.
Men are supposed to uncover their heads during prayers, unlike women. The Amish bonnets support their religious aims- which is basically to live a simple and modest life.
The bonnets are put on top of neatly tied hair in a bun.
How do Amish wear the bonnets?
Wearing of the Amish bonnets for women and hats for men vary. Also, the materials used in making the bonnets differ in every Amish community.
Initially, the Amish people used to make their Kapps and hats in their homes, but today there are seamstress who provides Amish people with their coverage needs and clothing.
Amish people use different kinds and types of bonnets, which serve as a separator and an identifier from Amish groups and other non-Amish groups.
Each Amish community has a different type of bonnets, especially in appearance.
Wearing and tying of the bonnets depend on the community and occasion. Some of the Amish tie the bonnet strings while others do not tie.
Also, the women have bonnets preserved for events and for other days since bonnets tend to get dirty quickly. For instance, in low Amish churches, the strings are tied together, while in progressive communities, their strings are not tied together.
Winter Season Coverings.
During the winter, Amish women use larger, heavier, and quilted black bonnets to keep themselves from the freezing weather.
The men's bonnets or hats are called scribblers which usually are made from fur, wool, or straws. The hats change according to seasons, although men typically wear straw hats.
Woll hats are preferred for the winter season. The hats have little or no difference from other hats in Amish communities, unlike women's bonnets which vary differently in each district and church.
In the Amish community, children wear head coverings and hats, especially young girls. The children are taught Amish culture to foster their traditions and culture as they grow.
What are the consequences of not wearing a bonnet?
For women, wearing a bonnet is a must in the Amish community. Not covering your head is considered a violation of the Ordnung rule and the Bible scriptures.
The practice mainly applies to women as they are supposed to have their bonnets on all the time. It is only during the rumspringa that young Amish women are not a lot to wear their bonnets.
They are allowed to interact freely with other non-Amish people and abandon the Amish way for a while. In case of violation, she may be ex-communicated after a warning.
Ex-communication involves the separation of the member from other law-abiding members. She will not be allowed to handshake or share the same table with other members. If the member repeats the violation several times, she is shunned.
However, the Amish community believes in forgiveness; hence if the member returns to the community, she is taken back after confessing and getting baptized.
In today's Amish community, the rules are becoming neglected due to the interaction between the Amish and non-Amish. Bonnet wearing is becoming a personal choice.
In conclusion, Amish women are very conservative and ensure they have their bonnets on all the time. The bonnets in the Amish culture signify submission to God. The bonnets are made with strings to support their bonnets.
Women who do not tie the strings support their bonnets using pins. Also, the tying of the bonnet string varies between the Amish groups. The low Amish churches tie their bonnets under their chin, while the highly progressive Amish do not tie their bonnets.
Also, the married women may tie their bonnets while the young Amish women do not tie their bonnets to toss when flirting with young teenage boys. The bonnets are made in white and black colors.
The black color is for young, unmarried women, and the white color is for married women. Violation of the bonnet rule leads to a warning, ex-communication, or shunning. But, the members are allowed to confess to being taken back to the community.
However, the rules are different in different Amish communities.