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Pink,White, And Blue: Function And Meaning Of The Colored Choir Ribbons With The Moravians

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks at a particular feature of Moravian dress: the colored ribbons. It is found that the ribbons visually expressed the internal codes of the group as well strengthened the group identity and spiritual hierarchy and as a means to maintain order within the community. Eighteenth-century Moravians dressed differently from their worldly contemporaries. The clothes of Moravian men did not differ much from other Pietists of the time. But, women were clearly recognizable as Moravians. The Moravian choir ribbons are the religious equivalent of military patches. In the twenty-first century, the ribbons are no longer markers on a uniform dress to make differences within the congregation visible, nor are they indicators of a spiritual hierarchy. Today, the Hauben and ribbons are worn as proud symbols of identity and as a sign of belonging to the Moravians and of being part of the traditions of the Moravian Church.

Keywords: colored choir ribbons; Moravian dress; spiritual hierarchy



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