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mennonite vs amish head covering

Mennonite vs Amish Head Covering

Mennonites and Amish folk are hardly unique in their practice of wearing head coverings. However, their style of head coverings are similar, and that can make them difficult to tell apart. 

Both Mennonites and the Amish wear head coverings due to religious beliefs and other factors, but it’s important to note that the reasoning for both groups is different, as is the design of the head covering. 

Let’s look at Mennonite vs Amish head coverings and see how we can distinguish them from each other. 

What this article covers:

What's the Difference Between Amish and Mennonite?

difference in mennonite and amish

When comparing Mennonites vs Amish, although similar from the outside looking in, they have a fair amount of differences between them.

When many people think of the Amish, they probably conjure images of plain clothes and prayer head coverings. They think about horses and carts, and limited use of technology. Rather than engage in rampant consumerism, the Amish would much rather craft their own goods, like custom size wicker baskets, or vintage picnic baskets

amish vs mennonite bonnet
The image isn’t all that far from reality. The Amish are renowned for their craftsmanship and they are notoriously cautious when it comes to what technology they allow into their communities. 

Mennonites, however, can resemble your everyday American; complete with modern technology and, when compared to the Amish, a more relaxed dress code. 

There are different types of Amish and Mennonites and further understanding these groups makes distinguishing between the former and the latter much easier,

Groups

The Old Order Mennonites and the Old-colony Mennonites are quite similar to the Amish, although the Old-colony Mennonites are typically found in Mexico and certain parts of the United States.

These groups are significantly smaller than their Amish counterparts, but they tend to be neighbors because groups avoid modern-day technology and wear similar clothing.

 amish women's hat name

Commonalities

The Old Order and Old-colony Mennonites cooperate with the Amish in having shared educational environments and fields of crops.

Differences in Religious Practices 

The Old Order Mennonites worship in a meeting house that’s specially built for praise and worship.

Amish services tend to be in the homes of fellow community members.

Each Amish district is made of around 150 people and will have its bishop, deacon, and ministers, while the Old Order Mennonites have smaller districts with fewer church authorities.

Differences in Lifestyle

Both the Amish and Mennonites are deeply faithful and their existence revolves around their belief systems. They’re both Anabaptist off-shoots and a lot of their practices and beliefs overlap because of this. 

However, there are many cases of modern Mennonites who use technology. There are, however, similarities in the way the Amish and Mennonites present themselves, but also key differences to look out for. 

mennonite and amish

Differences in Appearance

Old Order Mennonite men don’t grow facial hair, whereas Amish men do. 

When people compare Mennonite vs Amish clothing, they’re usually speaking about the Old-colony Mennonites. 

This particular group wears a different head covering compared to the Amish. But why do these groups wear head coverings?

Why Do Amish Women Wear Head Coverings?

Prayer coverings, are worn by women to cover their hair and are typically black or white. 

A bonnet is worn over this covering whenever the women need to go outside their homes or into the church.  

The covering itself is more commonly referred to as a Kapp. The practice of wearing the Kapp is directly taken from the bible as mentioned in Corinthians. 

The reading suggests that women who pray with an uncovered head dishonor the religion.

are amish and mennonite the same

In the Amish community, a head covering can be seen as promoting modesty. A woman’s hair symbolizes her beauty and is something that should be kept for her husband’s viewing. 

There are variations of head coverings in the different Amish communities. For example, the Lancaster prayer covering is distinctive in shape, almost taking the shape of a heart.

The more mid-western Amish communities and the Amish outside of America wear a more straight pleated design.

You can tell where an Amish woman comes from based on the head covering.

Why Do Mennonite Women Wear Head Coverings? 

The head covering that Mennonites wear is known as a Haube. It’s a German word meaning “cap” and is donned by Mennonite women whenever they leave the house or during prayer.

amish vs mennonite beliefs

It’s a black or white veil that symbolizes a woman’s submission to her husband. The Bible is the reason for these women wearing the house and serving as a way to honor God and His words. 

The majority of Mennonite traditions and practices center around serving and honoring God while remaining humble and modest. 

Covering your head ensures that you aren’t offending God by attracting any attention.

Differences Between Amish and Mennonite Head Coverings

There are enough differences between the two to make them unique, but it’s easy to confuse one for the other. 

The Mennonite head covering is more of a veil than a cap and is typically made from a thin lace or cloth. Some Mennonites also wear black fabric caps made of similar material.

The Amish Kapp is a thin fabric like the Mennorite head covering but is covered by a bonnet. These bonnets can either be black or white, each symbolizing its meaning. 

mennonite vs amish beliefs

A white bonnet is typically worn if the Amish woman is married. It symbolizes a lifelong relationship and a sign to other Amish men that they are taken. 

This is similar to Amish men growing out their facial hair once they are married. 

When an Amish man isn’t married, he’s required to constantly shave his facial hair until he’s found a woman to call his wife. 

Once married, Amish women don a white bonnet and the man shaves his facial hair.

The black bonnets are worn by the women who aren’t married and this signifies their relationship status.

Aside from relationship status, the bonnets signify the Amish’s strong belief in God and the bible.

These Amish bonnets have been written about in Holy Scriptures and this is why their significance is understood in the hearts of Amish people.

Conclusion

The difference between Amish and Mennonite hats or head coverings comes down to their individual beliefs and overall design. 

The Amish and Mennonites have many similarities in how they dress and present themselves, but their head coverings are distinguishable from each other. 

Now you can determine who’s a Mennonite and an Amish person by simply looking at what’s on their head.

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