Amish Workshops has posted a great look at the process Amish women go through to pin up their hair. The article features over 2 dozen photos illustrating the procedure. Amish women don’t display their hair for Biblically-based reasons. They also do not cut their hair, pinning it all up underneath a kapp, or prayer covering. […]
Continue Reading How do Amish women put up their hair?
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This was very interesting seeing how it is done. This is one of the things I have always wondered about with regards to the Amish. Do their hairstyles differ, just like their caps differ?
As a headcovering non-Amish Christian I share the view that hair must not be hidden all the time and I don’t think there is any shame in showing the hair but since I want to live a life in prayer the covering will need to be on most of the time anyway. At home I often remove it because it is easy to put it on once I want to pray while outside the house that cannot be done so there I am always covered. I forgot my covering once this summer and I felt almost naked, it has become such a natural thing now to wear.
I too wear a covering as a Plain Catholic and have to admit I have learned much from the Amish when it comes to how to bun longer hair. I do at times wear mine down under a veil but as I get too many comments on its length I wear it up more often than not.
It is such a wonderful thing when we women want to live a Christian life. In 1 Corinthians, chapter 11, we are blessed to learn of the importance and glory of our long hair. Verse 15 states CLEARLY that God gave us our HAIR for our covering (which is why we leave it long and untouched). Let’s be careful that we do not try to reason, like Adam and Eve and their fig leaves, and make a man-made covering of more significance than the God ordained long, untouched hair that God provided Himself. We can not add one cubit to our stature, not make one hair black or white. This is God’s doing. Nothing wrong with wearing a bonnet or hat or scarf, but our human way of covering will never supersede God’s perfect way. It is not to draw attention to self, but a witness of the beauty and submission to God and His ways. Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill can not be hid. Let it be for His glory.
And that is such horse poop. What happens if God made your hair fall out, hmm?
About womens hair.
We had a neighbor who’s daughter went to dry her hair in front of a barn fan. She got her hair caught in the blades and a large portion of her scalp was pulled off. The church allowed her to wear a wig only a portion of hair grew back and she is so grateful that she was allowed to have the wig m
I would like to know how the lancaster Amish get the hair Parted in the middle and “twisted” back on either side to follow the face into the bun? I have tried and tried and cant get it to work for me.
@Jackie (and others who may be interested).
You’ll need longer hair.
Part your hair down the middle. Take one side (as if your going to put it in pig tails) and twist, pull and hold in the back. Do the same with the other side. Once done, pull together both sides to the back, clamp with a very large barette or soft-band. Pull (the now pony tail) upward and twist & tawist in the back, then twirl into a bun. Pin with large “Amish” Hair Pins (you can get these at most country stores).
Use a Hair NET to cover your bun…this is for practicality. Your pins will pop out if you dont, get lost, and worse cause your covering to “rise up” with pins poking out the sides. It should easily all fit under your covering with a part in the front. Hope this helps.
What is a “pajama gown”?
Nadege I think I just meant nightgown 🙂
I wear a white kapp to church and when not in church, I wear a prayer veil. My hair is always covered except when I’m at home.
The little girls start having there hair parted at a very young age so it just naturally parts for them. I use to wear a head covering until I came across the passage right after it talks bout having the hair covered, where it says we have no such customs and neither does the church of God. I feel very comfortable with out it and trust me God hears and answers my prayers!
@ Ruth, Where in the bible would that passage be??
Lissa Holder, it is found in 1 Corinthians 11.
Yup no prob
I intend no disrespect, but that verse he penned was written with sarcasm. The point he was making is that the men and women that consider themselves Christians did honor what he wrote. If his point had been that men could/should have long hair then he would have expressed it clearly. Likewise with women he would not have commented on what even nature says. His point was that the churches of God DO honor these precepts, and likewise all that consider themselves saints. When the verse is read with a sarcastic tone, it validates all the verses that are written before it. Men having cut and uncovered hair is as called for as women having uncut and covered hair. I’m not one for arguing but to see a misinterpretation pains my hy heart. If responses follow this, I’ll accept the opinions of the commentators by holding my peace. Yes that verse is in there, but his point by saying so was formost that the church of God does hold that standard.
Lord Bless You
Sir, I cannot believe that ANY part of the Bible was written in or with Sarcasm. It is the Holy Word of God.
It’s actually validating that this is their practice (literal veil covering) and they have no other practice then this in 1 Corinthians 11:16
Now if anyone is inclined to be contentious [about this], we have no other practice [in worship than this], nor do the churches of God [in general].
If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.
But if anyone wants to argue about this, I simply say that we have no other custom than this, and neither do God’s other churches.
Berean study bible:
If anyone is inclined to dispute this, we have no other practice, nor do the churches of God.
But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.
But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.
Christian standard bible:
If anyone wants to argue about this, we have no other custom, nor do the churches of God.
Holman christian standard bible:
But if anyone wants to argue about this, we have no other custom, nor do the churches of God.
Aramaic bible in English:
But if a man disputes against these things, we have no such custom, neither does the church of God.
Contemporary English version:
This is how things are done in all of God’s churches, and this is why none of you should argue about what I have said.
Good news translation:
But if anyone wants to argue about it, all I have to say is that neither we nor the churches of God have any other custom in worship.
If anyone intends to quarrel about this, we have no other practice, nor do the churches of God.
Comment on Women's Covering
Yes, the scripture does show us that the subject of hair matters, for both men and women, and if anyone wants to be contentious (argumentative because of pride) none of the churches argue about it. The only part that I’ve seen a lack of clarity on, is the fact that God states clearly that the woman’s covering He gave IS IN FACT her actual hair! He says it without any confusion. No where in scripture does it say the women needs to add a veil to cover the head. Her hair IS her covering, if left “long” (uninterrupted)The exact verse from KJV says, 1 Corinthians 11:15 KJV But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
NIV And suppose a woman has long hair. Doesn’t the very nature of things teach you that it is her glory? Long hair is given to her as a covering. NLT And isn’t long hair a woman’s pride and joy? For it has been given to her as a covering.
No matter what translation, it teaches us that our actual hair is the covering. Yet, many women feel they need to wear a veil or a material covering in order to obey the bible. There is nothing wrong with wanting to wear a hat, bonnet, scarf, etc. But it is not necessary to fulfill what God designed in scripture. I hope this helps any woman that may be struggling with this standard. It is a part of God’s church, but a material covering does not fulfill scripture, Only the God-given, God-made uninterrupted hair does. Even if I decide to wear a hat, it is just to keep the sun off but my hair underneath is uncut. Wear your hair however is modest. Buns work and look clean and out of the way. I’ve seen a few different ways women wear their uninterrupted hair.
I’ve only just recently started wearing a bandana in church. To my knowledge, I am the only person who does for the 1 Cor. 11 reason. I disagree with your interpretation of Paul’s statement at the end of the passage, but that is for another time and place. 🙂
Ruth, Paul just spent the last 15 verses explaining why it is a disgrace for women to pray with uncovered heads. Finally in verse 16 Paul concludes that none of the churches of God have such a custom, ie women praying with uncovered heads.
If the other churches had the custom of praying with uncovered heads, as you suggest the verse means, then why did Paul waste 15 verses justifying why women should pray with covered heads?
Lastly, never mistake God answering your prayers as a sign of your salvation. God answering prayers is a sign of His mercy and love for His creation, saved and unsaved alike. The sign of your salvation, that you have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, is your obedience to God’s decrees. As Jesus said, if you love Me, obey that what I say unto you.
This seems to work well because it seems to me that most Amish women have rather straight hair. I wonder, however, how well this would work for women of other ethnicities with much less cooperative hair types?
I notice that Amish women from different communities not only differ their hairstyles but also their kapps. I am most familiar with the Southern Maryland and Lancaster County communities where the women “twist” the front sides when putting up their hair and wear the heart-shaped kapps. Also, I’ve noticed clothing differences. Interesting!
In my area most Amish women and girls take finger sized sections of the ponytail, twist it and pin it down, then do another until all is twisted into a bun. I notice some have very red patches at the nape of the neck where it rubs. I do occasionally see someone with it down and will no longer comment on how long it is. I had thought they might be somewhat proud of how long it is but now I know better. Thanks. I still have much to learn, I see.
I’d like to offer another perspective on hair covering. Throughout much of history, it has been common practice for both men and women to wear some sort of head covering when away from home (although I acknowledge biblical headship as well). It seems to me that the trend to be uncovered grew as every one started taking a daily shower, instead of a once a week (or less!) bath. I became aware of this when my family moved the other way, from taking a daily shower to a once a week bath! My husband washes his hair in the sink before going to work, but when he doesn’t have to go to work he just throws on a baseball cap. I put my hair up and cover it with a bandana, except when I need to wash my hair to be “dressed up.”
I use to have terrible trouble with my neck. The pain in it was terrible. I went to doctors and even wore a brace on my neck. My hair was long and I wore it in a twist in the back. When I moved from the north to Florida (I have since moved back up north), I had my hair cut-I haven’t had trouble with my neck since. Since that time I have worn my hair short. Also when I let my long hair done, especially in the heat, my neck would break out. I admire those that have long hair, but I can’t do that anymore.
Marilyn I hate to hear about your neck touble but it also makes me curious-you must have had a lot of hair! I wonder if neck exercises are an option for people in that situation.
Jackie, the hair is parted and the very edges of the hair at the front of the head is twisted inwards, and held in place with hair pins or barettes.The bun is then placed low at the back of the head.It’s quite an easy hairstyle to do.
Thanks Lucy, Thats kinds how I pictured it. I guess since I have very thick wavy hair its not too easy for me. 🙁 I will keep trying as I never wear my hair down and need a new ideas for work.
I’ve tried so many times to get that swist right like the amish woman have and I just cant get it right, there’s look so neat, just cant get it that way.
sorry I meant *twist
Lucy could you give step be step instructions on this? If it not too much bother? I put mine in a pony tail, then braid it , then wrap it in a bun & pin with large bobby pins. I’m trying to get away from the initial pony tail.
amish women and there hair
I am glad to see that the women do not go bald from wearing a cap all the time because it is a know fact that most men ( the English ) who wear a baseball cap all the time end up going balled.
Oh, I see ...
Now THAT would have been a handy thing to know about 35 years ago or so! Guess who has probably 40 to 50 baseball style caps and not much hair?
Oldkat, Linda this is important info…I’ve never worn ballcaps, maybe my instincts were telling me something 😉
Men with ballcaps
My husband has worn a hat nearly everyday for 35 years and he has more hair than he knows what to do with. He does use the clippers to keep his hair short because he can’t stand when it gets longer. I think it’s in your genetic makeup that you go bald, not because you wear a hat.
When I saw this post, I thought it was going to show the typical hairstyle of Lancaster Amish. The hair parted down the middle and twisted with the low bun. I love that style, and periodically do my 6 year old daughters hair like that. All I can say is practice makes (near)perfect. 🙂
I love some of the different buns look. Me being all thumbs, find a flat bun covered with a net the best way to go. And I do cover at home and out and about. I have an older kapp that I wear if I am doing some messy work. Interesting article!
Hi, May I ask why your kapp is black ??
Looks like a Holderman Mennonite Kapp,they wear kapps like that.
That was a wonderful article and a very nice website I might add! I like how the photographer never got a front shot of the girl’s face.
Hair and Covering
My own long hair is uncut, but I don’t need to go to the lengths (pun intended) Amish women do when I put it under my kapp, as it is naturally fine. My own thought is that covering is a Christian witness, but not required unless one is in a church with an ordnung about it. Throughout history “decent” women covered away from home and this did not change until the late days of the 1800s. So if it was done by Christian women in the days of the apostles until almost 2000 years later, then the obvious interpretation of Paul’s letters concerning covering meant that he and the early church interpreted the theology of headship to be that women covered. (As always in prayer.) But any verse in the Bible can be turned to suit our own desires, can’t it? For more on covering, see my other blog http://magdalenaperks.wordpress.com. It is called “Anglican, Plain” and I have written extensively on this subject.
Thank you so much for the address to your word press blog! I just went there. . . It looks wonderful. I will be spending plenty of time there reading & catching up until current. I did try to sign up to have new posts come to my email, however it did not work for me, just sent me to a short list of prior posts?
Linda Saul – Unfortunately, Amish women do go bald over time where their hair is parted, and especially the ones in Lancaster who tightly twist the hair on the sides as well.
Debbie, women go slightly bald because of childbirth, something to do with hormones, and not because of head coverings.
Having a middle path just reveals more clearly what all women experience who have borne children, ie hairloss.
I was raised in the Amish community, and left as an adult. Having my hair pulled back tightly for so many years resulted in alopecia to the point where I have permanent bald spots on both sides of my head, around the ears. I’ve noticed this in quite a few other Amish women as well. I don’t think they realize the damage they are doing by pulling it back so tightly.
I grew up in the Methodist faith during the 1950s and 1960s. My mother wouldn’t be caught going into church without a hat on her head. She also made sure that I had several cute little hats to wear on Sunday. Her explanation was that it showed respect to our Lord. We relaxed as we neared the 1970s. I can also remember going to the Catholic church with my best friend during the week when she would say her confessions. Her mother had pretty little lace head coverings, all ready for them in her purse. She also made sure that this little Protestant girl had her head covered with a Kleenex … :-)bb
Speaking of hair…I just read this in this morning’s paper (Ohio). Not sure if allowed to post URL’s here? So I copied and pasted. Hope it’s allowed (if not, just remove).
STEUBENVILLE — The Jefferson County sheriff says a renegade group has been attacking fellow Amish, cutting off their hair and beards.
Sheriff Fred Abdalla in Steubenville said Thursday that his deputies have been hampered by the reluctance of Amish to press charges.
His office is working with sheriffs in Carroll, Holmes and Trumbull counties investigating attacks. No charges have been filed but several victims suffered minor injuries.
The sheriff says men and sometimes women from a group of families disavowed by mainstream Amish have terrorized a half dozen or more fellow Amish. They allegedly cut the beards off men and the hair off men and women.
The sheriff says the motive may be related to religious differences involving 18 Amish families who have drawn previous attention from law enforcement.
Kerry thanks for sharing- wild story. Ive heard of some semi aggressive behavior from disgruntled groups (ie vandalism) but never anything so direct. BTW Sharing urls is fine here, It doesnt link out but allows for copy paste.
I’ve tried that style of bun but it seems like either my hair is too heavy or I’m just not good at placing the pins. The bun always slides down and “bunches” low at my neck through the day. Right now I part my hair in the middle with a twist (I think it’s the opposite of the Lancaster twist) and put it up high in a twisting cinnamon-bun way. It’s not as flat and I don’t know how it would fit under a kapp (I wear hanging veils) but it stays better. One thing about long hair – it’s HEAVY!
The rumor about hats and hair loss is not accurate. Please follow this link (cut and paste – http://www.hair-loss-adviser.com/do_hats_cause_baldness.html). Good article once more, Erik
Thanks to all of you who commented on our photo essay. It was more work than I imagined it would be and I’m grateful for the response. Taking the photos without showing Christina’s face was tricky!
I’m very thankful to Mary and Christina for allowing me to document the process. Like most Amish mothers, Mary is a very busy woman. I think we photographed the hair-pinning at about 11:00am, and prior that she made breakfast for her family of eleven, washed the dishes, slaughtered and cleaned 25 chickens, and baked a mid-morning snack (cinnamon buns) for her husband’s 10 workers.
Oi, I have extremely thick hair, and having it long is just not an option…hot and heavy!
I live in a neighborhood with man orthodox Jews…both men and women wear head coverings. The women are very veiled…to wear you can’t see their hair line at all. The men wear yarmulkes, and some ar these 10 gallon hat type hats black. I wonder if they follow the same scripture as mentioned above in this post?
Jews do not use the same scriptures for head coverings as the head covering scriptures are only found in the NT.(1Cor.11:1-16)
Jewish men cover their heads to show reverence for God and men are not to walk more than four paces without a covering. Jewish women only cover when married, as beautiful hair is considered a visual attraction for the opposite sex and once married it is to be reserved for the husbands viewing pleasure only.Both teaching are from the Talmud and not the Bible.
I read the article & looked at the pictures, I even watched a video on u tube about a Swartzentruber Amish lady putting up her hair. I have the same problem as some of the orther readers on here, that is I am either all thumbs or my hair won’t hold. right now I put it in a pony tail, braid that secure the end & wrap it into a bun & secure that with 4 large bobby pins. I am looking for a way to NOT use the pony tail method because of broken ends of hair. Are there any more articles that you (Ercik) or anyone else would know about? Thank You in advance.
How to make a hair bun
Theresa, you may be interested in this link,
It has nine ways of how to make a hair bun.
Thank You Linda for the information. They all look nicely done, I’ll have to practice!!
Sorry, if the direct link does not work for you, try
then scroll down on the left, and click on “How to Make a Bun.”
Amish women do not braid, or rather “plait” their hair. That would not be “plain”.
Once Amish, problems with thick hair...
I myself once being Amish have witnessed many a friend or relative putting up their hair. Cousins of mine have very thick hair. They put it up in a pony tail most of us aren’t worried about breakage, especially when it’s so thick. Then twist, wrap it around and it is then secured by those sweet little inventions, small black hair claws. It works very well for them. Their prayer veil is then placed over the bun and secured with black bobby pins.
The different styles for the clothing, hair coverings, etc are chosen by the church district, usually these have been in place for many years. Most don’t know why it’s done that way, just the way it’s always been done. It seperates them from the different districts. An outsider wouldn’t notice some of the smaller details, but the Amish can tell by looking where someone else is from. Some districts remain strickter than others. In Indiana we can use elastic waists for everyday dresses, not allowed in some other Amish settlements.
Also, the Pennsylvania Dutch can be a tad different depending on where your from. Friends of our from Ohio use some different words than those from Indiana, for example.
Some Amish women do braid their hair, especially at bed time, again depending on their district ordnung. Swartzentruber Amish are some of the stricktess Amish out there. No running water, no gas lamps, no screens on the windows, no window coverings, no upostered furniture, no mattress’s on beds, they fill their beds with straw. My husband and I didn’t know these things off hand but learned them from our ex-swartzentruber friends.
Anyway, hope that helped clear up some questions.
I wonder what women do that have extremely heavy hair like mine. If I let my hair grow very long (it used to be long enough that I could sit on it) or if I try to wear barrettes or bobby pins in it, I get terrible headaches. Headaches so bad that basically they end up being 24/7. I finally had to cut my hair in 1983 because of this. I have let it get back to my waist before, but still couldn’t put any pins in it & still had headaches, just not quite as bad. For my daughter’s wedding 2 years ago, the hairdresser that she used for our hair told me that she could place the pins so that I wouldn’t get a headache, but I still did.
braiding is not biblical
Paul WAS in fact VERY aggressive and in many verses he does give off a negative / sarcastic expression. He clearly states , as do at least 3 other places in the bible that we are to live a FULLY circumcised life, in every way, not interpreting anything, but using our own Holy Spirit filled best judgement on what we believe is RIGHT to do for God. If your logic for (interpreting – bad) what God wants is that you prefer this or that, then that is not being done FOR God, which is the entire point. I have read these verses many many times trying to figure out what God wants for my life and i read the verses that braiding is for vanity as is jewelry, of those times, (Paul was referencing Jesus’ teaching Lk 12:54 through57) THEREFORE, IF you are vain about yourself, your hair, your jewels, your dress attire, THEN you NEED to do SOMETHING to GIVE that to God, to live every moment, in every way filled with The Holy Spirit, Christlike. The coverings show unlimited reverence and respect to God, regadless of whatever we find easy, comfortable, or attractive. 1 Cor 11, Rm 15:16, Rm 12:1-2, Rm 8, Jn 15, Lk 14;24, 1 Cor 10:23, 2 Cor 3:16; 4:2; 5:12; 8:3, Gal 4:18-20; 5, Eph 2, Phil 2….. Paul clearly states in MANY letters that the POINT is NOT the covering or the hair, BUT YOUR HEART AND FULL SUBMISSION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT….. May God Bless You All <3
Amish Women in store without kapp
Recently, I was in Fort Plain in an Amish run grocery store.Formerly J.R’s Groceries, but now u nder a new name and owenership. They told me it was still run by Amish.
One Amish young lady (around age 19 or so) dressed in blue had a kapp on, the other, dressed in brown, did not. Her hair was all pinned up though. Two other Amish younger girls in brown, also did not have kapps on, but hair pinned up. They had pins in their dresses, so I know they were Amish. I didn’t have the nerve to ask why they did not don their kapps.
Any info would be appreciated. Thanks. – Linda-
The younger ones may not have been baptized — i.e. full church members yet. Baptisim would occur later, late teens/early adult
Where do they get their cap? They all seem so neat and perfectly ironed. Do they make them or buy them?
Where do they get their kapps
Not sure about other communities, but when visiting Lancaster County, I’ve seen them in their Amish-owned dry goods, housewares stores. I bought a baby-sized one for my childhood doll. I also bought a baby dress and apron for my doll. The Lancaster kapps are quite intricate and delicate. Heart shaped and lots of tiny pleats.
Rose, in our community they do both — making them at home and buying them. My wife makes caps at home for daily use, but prefers to buy caps for “dress wear.” That seems to be what many women do in our group.
I also wear a kapp.
Just want to put in my two cents: I live in mainstream society, but I dress Amish, including that I wearing a kapp. Just want to share.
Thanks for sharing Mette, interesting. Are you a member of another plain religious group, or wear it for personal reasons?
I dont underestand why Amish women covered their hairs?
do they covered infront of men only ?or they covered bcs of some religion reasons?
An a tangent
What would the Amish community think or do about a girl or woman who ends up experiencing sudden, total hair loss? Since long hair is so important would she be allowed to buy as long of wig as she could, or would the need to be “plain” mean she could not wear one?
I have been totally bald since I was 14, 23 years ago now. I can’t imagine how I would have faired if I had been born Amish. Most certainly unmarried and halfway shunned I would expect.
Reply to Comment
Dear Nienna, God’s mercy is over all His works. If your hair loss was God’s doing, then how can it be wrong? You didn’t do it. God is FOR you, not against you. You are still beautiful in His eyes. The Old Testament is from the Hebrew and the New Testament is from the Greek. The Greek word “long” referring to the long hair in 1 Corinthians 11 has a root meaning “not interrupted.” God is the God of all people, all nations. Not every nationality can grow LONG (in man’s definition) hair. Their DNA isn’t written that way. But the word LONG comes from a root of not interrupted, so if it was not you that interrupted the hair and it happened from God or from some other means, you should take good cheer. God loves you and He understands what happened, even if your fellow man doesn’t. My hair doesn’t grow that long, but my friend’s hair hits the ground. We both just honor God’s word of not interrupting our hair and our obedience is what matters, not the actual length. The key here is NOT INTERRUPTED. That’s why some is so long, but others are not. Another friend of mine had floor length hair and someone harassed her about it and said WHAT IF GOD CUTS IT ALL OFF????? She replied, IT IS HIS, SO IF HE WANTS IT, HE CAN HAVE IT, BUT I WON’T DO IT FOR HIM. The next day, her hair became entangled in an escalator in a building. She cried out to God and she said she heard invisible scissors cutting the hair to set her free and save her life. Her job was just to be obedient. If God wants it, He can take it. If God took yours, He can have it. The goal is to be obedient and right with God. Don’t interrupt it. Let God do what He wants with it. As I said in the previous comment, to wear a bonnet or hat or scarf is not wrong. But we can not hold a man-made head-covering in higher esteem than what God made and ordained per scripture Himself. Some people may prefer to wear a bonnet or bandana or hat or scarf if they have had a significant loss of hair due to cancer treatments, or such like. If your hair has fallen out from illness, or just your DNA, God is not judging us for that. Our part is to not interrupt it and if we have honored that, the length isn’t judged. Just don’t interrupt it. Be of good cheer! God is not unreasonable. He loves us with all His heart.
Love to see the progress. It’s very satisfying to see.
Hello, I have a question about the Amish cutting their hair. I can’t seem to find the answer anywhere. This thread is the closest to my inquiry. My question is are women allowed to trim their hair – not for styling purposes, but to keep it healthy? For example, my hair is very thin and fine. It always has been and more so the older I’ve gotten. I keep it at a nice shoulder length, but if I were to let it grow, it would only get scraggly and unhealthy. I don’t think I could make a bun even if I wanted to, that’s how flat my hair is. What would an Amish woman do in that situation? Thank you.
This is very interesting and very informative. thank you for sharing! In cold weather, most Amish women will wear a heavy, often quilted, black bonnet over their covering to protect and warm their heads.