Friday, April 18, 2014


Easter was a special time of the year in communal Amana, a long- awaited spring day after a long winter.  Hand woven natural willow baskets, made by the village basket weaver, were given each child for the at the traditional egg hunt held near the community kitchens where the kitchen ladies and helpers colored the eggs. Each basket was filled with two Easter rabbit cookies and  six colored eggs. The hot, dry eggs were mottled in the palm of the hand after they are rolled in cups of jellied dyes made of furniture glue and woolen mill dyes. The glue sealed the egg, it dries out, and it could be stored for years with same brightness a the day it was made. The cookies were usually six-ten inch running, leaping, or sitting rabbits (Oster Hasse). They were topped with powdered sugar frosting and sprinkled with shredded coconut. Raisins marked the bunnies' eyes. The cookie cutter was made of heavy tin by the local tinsmith. All the wonderful handmade items, love, and care that went into these Easter baskets made for a happy time at the annual egg hunt for the children of communal days. Today these egg hunts and egg-dyeing traditions(dyes and sites anew),remain a part of Amana today.

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