Shakers

Shakers, also known as "Shaking Quakers" because of their "ecstatic behavior during worship services", were a religious sect of believers in the second coming of Christ. They initially settled in current day New York. They are commonly known for a communal lifestyle, pacifism, simple living, and equality of the sexes. During the second great awakening, shakers partook in dances, gift drawings, and gift songs. At its peak, the shaker community had 6,000 followers. Ann Lee became the leader of the small shaker community, she was later called "Mother Ann" by her followers. Mother Ann's teachings included celibacy and forsaking of marriage, she wanted her followers to give up worldly/material wealth. The golden age was from 1820-1860. Shakers also believed that Jesus was a woman, this caused the community to have a vast female majority. They also made procreation forbidden.

The Shakers' dedication to hard work and perfection has resulted in a unique range of architecture, furniture and handicraft styles. They designed their furniture with care, believing that making something well was in itself, "an act of prayer." This is an ideology put in place by Ann Lee, she formed the way of life for such shaker communities. The long range significance was the simplistic lifestyle of the shakers, it influenced hard work and purse a modest living.


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