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Wigs is a short form of the word "periwigs." When, at the close of the 17th century, it became fashionable in the Netherlands for people of high rank to wear powdered periwigs, some Mennonites began to wear them. Thus difficulties arose in a few congregations, some members considering this fashion too worldly for the plain people of Menno. Claes Jacobsz, the preacher of Den Burg on the island of Texel, was asked in 1715 to take off his wig; when he refused to do so, he was dismissed. Nevertheless the wearing of wigs was soon tolerated, particularly in larger towns like Amsterdam and Haarlem, and highly esteemed elders like Herman Schijn and Pieter Schrijver in the early 18th century used to wear periwigs. In the Groningen Old Flemish congregations there was much more opposition. In the Deventer congregation of this branch two brethren were earnestly requested in 1753 to abandon their wigs, at least during the communion service. The very strict "Fijne" Mennonites expressly forbade the wearing of "foreign hair" as late as the end of the 18th century. The Lithuanian Mennonites who settled in the Netherlands in 1733 were scandalized to see the delegates of the Dutch Mennonite Committee for Foreign Needs wearing wigs. Also in the Danzig congregation there was a long period of trouble when Mennonites from Holland began to visit the church in 1727 wearing wigs.

See Periwig Dispute


Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1919): 85 f.

Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berustende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam, 2 vols. Amsterdam: Uitgegeven en ten geschenke aangeboden door den Kerkeraad dier Gemeente, 1883-1884: I, No. 2041; II, Nos. 1619-1621, 2632 ff.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Wigs." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 25 Jul 2024. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Wigs&oldid=136178.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1959). Wigs. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 July 2024, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Wigs&oldid=136178.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 1136-1137. All rights reserved.

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