When people think of prominent Amish populations, they usually think of Pennsylvania or rural New York. While that's justifiably the case, Indiana should be included in that discussion.

The Hoosier State has one of the strongest Amish populations in the United States with more than 62,000 Amish adherents living in the state today. Ohio and Pennsylvania are the only other states that rival or exceed Indiana's Amish population numbers.

You'll find most of the Amish communities of Indiana tucked into the northeastern corner of the state. Elkhart County and La Grange County are the two most prominent locations the Plain Folk of Indiana call home.

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Amish people keep to themselves and have a traditional way of living that our secular world has long left in the past. Of course, some states in America change a bit slower than others, and Indiana is one of them, for better or worse. Nonetheless, Indiana's traditional approach pairs well with the Amish.

Naturally, some aspects of the Amish faith and traditions are nearly foreign to the average American these days. The rules and standards by which women are held in Amish culture would be scoffed at and fought against quite strongly by many outside of their community.

Of course, that doesn't mean that women are forced to do these things against their will. Living in an Amish community is a choice after all, and one teens can choose to leave behind during Rumspringa roughly around their 16th birthday.

In fact, despite the antiquated rules, Amish women are seen as the backbone of the community.

Rules Indiana Amish Women Must Follow

According to Amish Baskets, these are the rules Amish women must abide by.

  • Amish women must dress modestly, wearing plain, often dark-colored clothing. A typical outfit includes a long dress (which must cover her knees when sitting down), aprons and bonnets.
  • Amish women cannot cut their hair as a woman's hair is viewed as "her glory" in a Biblical sense. Typically, women will wear their hair in a bun or braid. When working outside or attending church they will wear a bonnet or cap.
  • That said, women aren't likely to work outside the home, as their primary duties include cooking, cleaning and caring for children. Amish women do take on roles such as midwives and teachers and are likely to help with farm work so long as these efforts do not interfere with domestic duties.
  • Amish women must submit to their husbands. It is the Amish belief that a submissive wife helps maintain order and stability by preserving a hierarchy in the household and preventing disagreements.

Some other traditions apply to Amish women, such as dolls being faceless, formal wear at church based on marital status and even wedding gown colors. There are also bedroom rituals (which aren't nearly as explicit as they sound) that are taken quite seriously.

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