Monday, January, 12, 2009

The Shakers

Filed under: films, travel — mete23 @ 12:28 am

I also watched The Shakers, a documentary directed by Ken Burns. (He is like my favorite information giver and was my AP U.S. History’s college roommate) The Shakers emerged when utopian communities were springing up all across America. They are Christians who practice celibacy. In addition, they believe that celibacy is the closest and most intimate way to be with God.  They are called Shakers because when they worship, they dance and look like they are shaking. On either walls of the churches, houses, and buildings are doors for guys to exit on the left and girls to exit on the right. Besides this, they lead a very simple life, wholeheartedly dedicating their work to God as acts of worship. The furniture they make, the houses they build, the food they cook, and the things they invent are near perfection because they put all of their efforts into refining and using their hands to make the best and most effective object.

I am quite fascinated by their way of living and I want to visit Hancock Shaker Village or any other Shaker community. Roll your eyes and shake your head all you want but they are interesting people. I think they are going extinct due to obvious reasons but I would love to eat with them.



  1. i do PR for HSV, and they really are a cool place to visit and get ideas or recipes, gardening, furniture, etc. I didn’t know much about the Shakers until I took the assignment on – butIm finding that the Shaker way of life is getting very ‘trendy’ in many ways! Great post.


    Comment by Jax — Monday, January, 12, 2009 @ 1:57 pm

  2. Hi, I also work at Hancock Shaker Village as an interpreter (our fancy term for tour guide). Obviously as a tour guide I am a big fan of Shaker history. It’s really great that you’ve discovered the Shakers (and you seem to have a much better grasp at their basic history than most people I meet) Ken Burn’s doc is amazing – if you’re interested in more Shaker-y stuff I’d recommend reading “Simple Gifts” by June Sprigg. She used to be the curator at the village, but her memoir about her time with the Shakers was really great. Anyway. And totally come visit the village (during the summer though! it’s too cold to walk around outside!)

    Comment by spinninglists — Sunday, January, 18, 2009 @ 11:50 pm

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