While I love writing Amish fiction, it is equally important to me to do so authentically. Meaning, it’s not just about putting the women in kapps and the men in suspenders and calling it an Amish book. The Amish do things a certain way, and that “way” is often different from place to place. For instance, what might be the case for the Amish in Indiana, might not be the case for the Amish in Pennsylvania. That’s why it’s important to me to spend time in Amish country prior to writing a new book. In order to get it truly right, I have to go, I have to ask questions, I have to soak it up, and I have to be able to incorporate it into the book.
Which brings me to this latest installment of Did You Know…
Did you know that in Lancaster County, you can tell the age of an Amish male just by looking at his black hat? It’s true.
Amish men over forty, wear a hat like this… Note the flat top, and the wide (about 5 inches) brim. When younger Amish men see this, they know that the man wearing it is considered an elder.
Amish boys/men under forty wear a hat like this… Note the almost-rim like affect around the top of the hat, and the shorter (about 3-4 inches) brim.
Did you know that Amish men of dating age can instantly know whether a girl is of dating age by looking at their head on Church Sunday? It’s true! The only Amish females who wear a black prayer kapp during church are those of dating age. So, if a young man wants to know who is dateable, he best be in church on Sunday morning.
Did you know that on an Amish girl’s wedding day, she wears a solid color of her choosing (blue is most popular), along with a new white cape, white apron, and black kapp? Once the wedding is over, the cape and apron are put away and not worn again until her funeral (at which time it will be worn over a white dress—the only time they wear a white dress).
Fun stuff, right?
Laura Bradford is the national bestselling author of the Amish Mysteries, a cozy mystery series set in Lancaster County. The sixth book in the series, Just Plain Murder, is now available. Her next Amish-based women’s fiction novel, A Daughter’s Truth, will release on May 28. For more information: www.laurabradford.com