Dove at the window: a study of an Old Order Amish community in Ohio

University MicrofilmsAnn Arbor, Michigan • Published In 1987 • Pages:

By: Huntington, Abbie Gertrude Enders.

The title 'Dove at the window' refers to a quilt pattern popular among the Old Order Amish. The pattern is made of many small scraps of cloth, but it is the overall configuration of the scraps, rather than the characteristics of the individual pieces, that identifies the 'dove at the window' pattern. 'Dove at the window' is a metaphor for the central purpose of Huntington's study because she is interested in not simply the parts, but the overall pattern of Old Order Amish culture and society. To this end she focuses on the Amish community of central Ohio in general and the church district of Stoneyrun in particular and examines the following dimensions of Old Order life: religious orientation; boundary maintenance; interaction between Old Order church districts and interaction with other Mennonite churches and with other Historic Peace Churches; interaction with the non-Amish world; public education; military service; tensions within the Amish community; and the ceremonial integration of the Old Order Amish community. Huntington defines five elements that constitute the overall pattern of Old Order Amish culture and society: 1) the codification of values into a religious system, which, according to the author, is the single most important determinant of the viability and persistence of the Old Order Amish; 2) a strong local congregation; 3) a time orientation toward the past; 4) a cycle of economic, social, and religious activities interelated with the cycles of nature; and 5) a conscious effort to ignore unimportant deviations. Huntington's study is an extensive, comprehensive work and is a standard reference on the Old Order Amish.
Religious denominations
General character of religion
Organized ceremonial
Acculturation and culture contact
Religious offenses
Adolescent activities
HRAF PubDate
North America
Sub Region
Regional, Ethnic and Diaspora Cultures
Document Type
Gerald Reid ; 1988: John Beierle; 2007
Coverage Date
Coverage Place
Church District of Stoneyrun (a pseudonymn), Ohio, United States
Abbie Gertrude Enders Huntington
Includes bibliographical references
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Yale University, 1983