Excerpts from 1,300-word article
SHAKER HERITAGE LIVES ON IN KENTUCKY
In case you think the idea of sexual
equality is new, let me introduce you to
the nineteenth-century Shakers. Strong
in their belief that men and women are
equal, they were industrious,
prosperous people who allotted
workloads according to ability rathr
than gender. Their reputation for
quality workmanship was enviable.
And their leader was a woman.....
At first they called themselves the United Society of Believers in Christ's
Second Appearance. But because their sacred dances involved frenzied
contortions with much wringing of hands, they were soon dubbed Shaking
Quakers. This was shortened to Shakers, a name they liked and adopted for
These were completely self-sustaining communities. All members worked
without financial reward, and in return their needs were looked after. Children
received an education. The old and sick were taken care of. To supervise
spiritual and work-related matters, male and female elders were appointed.
Similarly, male and female trustees dealt with affairs in the outside world.....