Mennonite Heritage Village

Head Covering (Haube)

Donated by: Hildegard Adrian

The word ‘haube’ is a German word, which literally means ‘cap’. From the time of Mennonite origins, around 1525 AD, until 1866, Mennonite women wore head coverings when they left the house, simply because that was what the people of Europe did at the time. When some Protestant women stopped wearing head coverings to church, the Mennonites were confused. They turned to scripture for guidance. The Mennonites found what they were looking for in the Bible, in 1 Corinthians 11: 1-16, which states, among other things, that “…every woman praying or prophesying with her head unveiled dishonoreth her head”. The caps also symbolized a woman’s submission to her husband, as head of the household. A woman was expected to cover her head, and a man was considered to be ‘dishonoring’ his own head if he did cover it.

Because a woman could only wear a cap when she was married, the German Mennonites developed a saying for the time when a girl was to be wed. When a girl would get married, the community would say that the girl was “unter die haube kommen”, which means ‘to come under the cap’ (Gingerich, 126).