Sometimes individuals and even whole communities transition away from being “classically Amish”, becoming something different while keeping elements of Amishness.

We saw the example of the ex-Amish in Parke County, Indiana last week.  Today Karen Johnson-Weiner shares photos from a group in Missouri which has also moved in a different direction.  These people, previously considered Amish, now describes themselves as Mennonite.

Karen says that the dress of this group is clearly Amish.  In contrast to the car-driving former Amish in Parke County, however, the people in this community have gone the opposite way technologically.

For example this group does not permit the small motors which even the most conservative Amish will allow to power things like wringer washing machines.  The solution here is mule power, as you can see in the photos below:

Mule Wringer

Mule Powered Technology

Wringer Pulley

Mennonite Washing Machine

Mennonite Mule Power Washer

Old Style Washing Machine

Karen once told a Swartzentruber Amish bishop about this group, who in turn “shook his head at folks who go to extremes!”

Something to think about next time you fire up the washer-drier.


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