Are All Amish Buggies Black?


By Tobin Dimmitt


Amish horse and buggy rigs are a rather common sight all over the country. In southern Iowa, within 30 miles of our office, it’s not uncommon to see Amish buggies driving along the shoulder of state highways as the regular traffic passes by. I must say that I thought all Amish buggies were completely black in color, as all the buggies I’ve personally seen looked black to me.


So I researched the topic and found out I was wrong. In other states with large Amish populations it is not uncommon to see buggies that are grey in color, or black with contrasting tops. Interestingly, the color of the buggy indicates the particular group to which the family belongs. So the “white-tops” can recognize each other from a distance as members of the same group, as can the “yellow-tops” and the “greys.” Most of these variations will be seen in Pennsylvania, still home to the largest variety of Amish and Mennonite groups in the county.



Turns out, there’s another reason for the striking similarity in vehicles among the Amish that speaks of cultural values. One’s vehicle is a possession that does not represent social or financial status, everybody in the group is seen as the same when they are on the road. There’s an interesting concept to consider the next time you’re stuck in traffic!


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