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Sometimes the divisions can be over very trivial matters – for example the Troyer Amish split over a dispute about hat brims.These differences in beliefs can often lead to bizarre forms of violence.

In some cases in the past (though perhaps not now) the girl was tied into a sack and her potential husband would lie in bed with her.

Coats and vests are fastened with hooks and eyes but shirts have buttons (it is a myth that the Amish shun buttons). Married men must grow their beards whilst mustaches are forbidden.

Amish women cannot wear patterned clothing or jewelry and they are not permitted to cut their hair.

The rules are mostly derived from the Bible but those which aren’t are justified by the fact that they will cause a person to ultimately become worldly and thus breach the Biblical laws.

The Amish believe in living a life separated from the non-Amish.

This is not a lawful form of punishment in the Amish and even though the person being punished may not be guilty of anything in the eyes of his own community, the loss of hair causes great shame and shunning (not the excommunication type – just the social embarrassment type).

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