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Saturday trip - Jamesport

Saturday, I went with my friend Anjie & her parents for a drive to Jamesport.  It's a little town about an hour and a half outside Kansas City.  It's also best known for it's Amish & Mennonite shopping.  Pretty much the entire area is populated by farmers.  Walking around and shopping in Jamesport though, got me thinking.  Most of the stores were run by the Amish or Mennonite women.  The products for sale were made by a lot of the women.  Yet, the labels would say: Made by Mrs. (husband's name).  The women were all traditionally dressed, yet I was pretty curious about the reason that most dresses were fastened with safety pins instead of buttons.  Several of them had jackets that buttoned.  So, I looked them up.

According to the wikipedia entry on Amish buttons can sometimes only be used for certain articles of clothing.  Something to do with buttons and the military?  I wish they elaborated more on that.  And I'm guessing that though they looked safety pinned, they were probably hook & eye clasps.

This worries me..."As almost all of the current Amish descend from the same few hundred founders in the 18th century they have been plagued by heritable genetic disorders."  Because you know that when children come of age they're not being sent off into a different community to be married.  They're marrying over and over into families that they belong to, which is slightly frightening.  It's a bit like royalty. 



( 4 felicitations — Felicitate Me )
Nov. 15th, 2005 08:49 pm (UTC)
I read about the Amish several years ago, as well. There's an Amish word for decorative items -- I don't remember it off the top of my head -- but it deals with things you might wear that could be considered prideful or unnecessary, like buttons.

I, personally, DESPISE it when people refer to me as "Mrs. Bryan Rocheleau." When did I agree to give up my first name? I took his last name, but not his first. Call me Shelly. In a pinch, "Dragonlady" will do.

I agree. It is a bit concerning that the bloodline is becoming polluted by purity, as it were. There's a reason Prince Charles looks like he does. (Okay, that wasn't PC, but it's true.)
Nov. 16th, 2005 11:51 am (UTC)
Best Onion headline ever:
"Amish call it quits. "This is bullshit" elders say."

Ironically I just quoted this same headline to Amy a few minutes ago :) The Amish are really getting the short end of the stick: all the genetic disorders of royalty, none of the flashy clothes.
Nov. 16th, 2005 03:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Best Onion headline ever:
So true. One can't help but wonder why at Rumspringa, more kids don't opt to become not Amish. Especially in communities like that where they see people like us, every day.
Nov. 17th, 2005 12:00 am (UTC)
Re: Best Onion headline ever:
Probably the same reason why prisons have high recitivism rates or why a lot of people stay in the armed forces after their four years are up. Having known the structure of a total institution for so long freedom and lack of structure can seem overwhelming and terrifying no matter how many new choices it offers. A lot of people don't do well when they don't know what the next day holds.
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