Hooks and Eyes
Hooks and Eyes, German Haken (or Haften) und Oesen. The modern Old Order Amish require the use of hooks and eyes as fasteners on men's and boys' coats and vests (buttons are used on other clothing). These fasteners have become so much a mark of the Amish that they are sometimes called simply the "Hook and Eye People." In South Germany the Amish were known as "Häftler" and the Mennonites "Knöpfler". The reason for the Amish practice is obscure since no Biblical authority is or can be cited, such as is the case with the beard. The obvious answer is that the Amish have simply perpetuated, out of their basic conservatism and opposition to change, the old type of fastener in use before buttons came into general use. Buttons were at first more expensive and often used primarily for ornamentation; hence their introduction would naturally find opposition as a violation of simplicity and nonconformity.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1094. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Bender, Harold S. "Hooks and Eyes." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 22 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/hooks_and_eyes.
APA style: Bender, Harold S. (1959). Hooks and Eyes. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/hooks_and_eyes.