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What Is an Amish Beard?

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  • Written By: E. Reeder
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 29 July 2014
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An Amish beard is a long, untrimmed beard that Amish men wear after they get married. They wear this beard with no mustache accompanying it. This tradition is part of their Amish heritage that goes back hundreds of years. It is based on religious tradition from Biblical scriptures and sociological norms, or accepted customs, for the Amish community.

One reason that a man wears an Amish beard is to show his status in society. This full, untrimmed beard means that the wearer is an adult member of his community. In some Amish communities, men no longer shave after they become married. Other Amish communities, however, allow men to grow beards even if they are unmarried, after they have been baptized to symbolize their adult status. Differences such as this exist in various Amish communities, but the long and untrimmed beard is consistently present among adult Amish males. Amish males who are teenagers or unmarried young adults usually are permitted to shave.

There are two main reasons that Amish men do not wear a mustache with their beard. One is their belief that a mustache should not be grown because it has historically been related to military groups. The Amish are a peaceful group of people who do not believe in military force or violence of any kind. A mustache can also symbolize vanity or a connection to worldly preoccupation, neither of which are not a part of the Amish lifestyle.

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There is Biblical justification for an Amish beard. Psalm 133 describes oil running down a man's beard, which suggests that donning a beard is important. Chapter 19 of Leviticus implores men not to clip the edges of their beard. Amish men take seriously this Biblical command not to mar the hair on their face. These Biblical verses are the reason that Amish men originally began the custom of growing long beards.

The plain look of the long Amish beard coincides with other traditional elements of the appearance and dress of Amish men. In general, males in Amish society have bowl haircuts that are done at home. They also wear flat-topped hats that have a black band and are constructed from either felt or straw. Amish men traditionally wear black-and-white outfits, because they do not want to be dressed in a flamboyant or colorful manner. All of this goes along with the plain, simple and unadorned lifestyle that the Amish have embraced.

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