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 themselves....

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.....