Suspenders (Amish)

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Various kinds of suspenders and practices related to their wearing have developed among some of the Amish groups. This is true in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, more than in any other region. The following information applies here. The "Old Schoolers" (Nebraska group) maintain a taboo on all suspenders. Trousers are held by a laced-up crotch at the rear of the broadfall trousers. The Byler (next most conservative) group shared this practice but in recent years adopted the practice of the Renno Amish who permit the use of one homemade elastic black suspender, fastened by a single button in front and one in the rear. The Zook group (now belonging to the "Beachy" Amish) permit the use of two suspenders, including plain bought suspenders, which are crossed in the back. Groups permitting one suspender make an exception for boys below school age who may have a wide single suspender split in the middle to allow the head to come through. The Swartzendruber Amish, the most conservative group in Ohio, wear two suspenders that form a "Y" in the back. These forms have given rise to nicknames among the groups: "One Suspender Amish" or sometimes "Swentzli" and "Two Suspender Amish." The various practices provide an excellent example of the slowness of cultural change. They have served as maintenance mechanisms to insure solidarity and consciousness of difference from all other Amish.

Author(s) John A Hostetler
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Hostetler, John A. "Suspenders (Amish)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 4 Jun 2020.

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Hostetler, John A. (1959). Suspenders (Amish). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 4 June 2020, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 664. All rights reserved.

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