Over the last few years, I’ve come to recognize patterns of dress and life that are definitely Anabaptist, as opposed to other Plain ways. (I can pass for Anabaptist, but not always Old Order.) I hate to commit to any of that presumed knowledge, though, because tomorrow someone will come along and say,”No, that never happens – never like that!”
So I have to laugh a bit when I am cruising eBay or websites and something is identified as Old Order Amish, or Amish mennonite. I can see it isn’t; such misunderstandings don’t help anyone trying to learn, of course.
Old photos of Plain Quakers are often considered “Amish” when the style of headcovering or the man’s stock is so obviously not. And a man in a stock, with a tall beaver hat and a gold watch chain is probably NOT Amish, and if he is Quaker, he is a prosperous Philadelphia Quaker of 120 years ago.
Quimper designs, a Swiss folk style, which is colourful but old-fashioned, is often mistaken for Amish or “Pennsylvania Dutch.” Colonial style decoration on china or wall hangings gets called “Amish” a lot.
Has anyone else noticed this as well? Do you have some examples to share?