Thursday, April 2, 2015

B ~ Black

After the death of a loved one, Amish women will wear black for quite a while.

In the community where I grew up the rules for wearing black were strict.

If a grandparent, aunt, or uncle passed away, we were required to wear black when ever we went to church, or went visiting for the next six months.

If a friend passed we would wear black for a Sunday or two.

If it was a parent, child, or sibling, black was worn for an entire year.

With Amish families typically being quite large, it seemed the older you got the less you got to wear anything other than black, because chances were by the time you could quit wearing black for one person, someone else passed away. Not only did women have to wear black when one of their relatives passed away, they also had to wear it for the same length of time when one of their husband's relatives passed, which made the prospect of getting to wear some other color even slimmer.


  1. Where I live, it used to be about the same, except the women would wear the black/white traditional clothing. When the husband past away though, they were required to wear black for at least 1 year and six weeks. If you wanted to remarry after that, you could start wearing some colour/patterns again. (There are many pieces in our traditional clothing, they would start with very little colour and build their way up) If you didn't, you would wear black until the day you died.

  2. Thanks for visiting me; what an interesting blog you have for people like me who have no knowledge of what it's like to be Amish! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks for sharing. I was always interested in the Amish. I lived near homes county Ohio for awhile and we had a few amish friends. Never knew why they were in black most of the time. But now i know. Hope you have a great day.

  4. Wearing mourning for such an extended time sounds positively Victorian! My sister's favorite color was purple, and that's what everybody wore to the church service, but none of us wore black for any period of time.

  5. I'm not sure what I think of social rules like that. On the one hand it sounds restrictive and I could see wanting to push back against the rules. But there's another way in which it seems that having those rules as a framework would make life a little easier - you wouldn't have to worry about what's appropriate or not, what's fashionable or not, yadda, yadda, yadda. The truth is I'd probably suck at following so many rules, but I can still see that in some sense they're meant to be freeing rather than restrictive.

  6. J here, stopping by from the #atozchallenge as part of the A to Z Ambassador Team! (I'm a minion/volunteer under Arlee.)
    Great post. I'm looking forward to more. Let me know if I can help you in any blogging way this month. I've followed you on your listed social media sites.

    Which part of Amish country are you from?
    Was your area also against photography? I could never get a straight answer on if that was our Amish brethren or the Mennonites. Lancaster county, PA, has both.

  7. I am from India and there are million rules here to stop women from being themselves but than there are a million women like us who break them :)


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