Photostory #15: Hutterite Colony
National Film Board of Canada
June 28, 1955
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
Throughout their 425-year history, religious persecution has dogged the footsteps of the Hutterite Brethren; at one time or another they have been forced to flee from Moravia, Hungary, Turkey and Russia in their search for sanctuary in which to carry on the peaceful teachings of their Swiss founder, Jacob Huter. Today, with this behind them, Hutterite colonies are flourishing throughout Manitoba, Alberta and the northwestern states of the U.S. Typical of the Hutterite colonies established in the New World is the one near Headingly, Manitoba. Its members practice the old apostolic order of "all things in common"; no individual is allowed to own private property and the profits from the extensive community farm are shared equally by Headingly's 150 members. Each male member is elected to a specific life-time job, counseled by two ministers and a steward. Though radios and movies are frowned upon, male members of the colony employ up-to-date power machinery on the colony's 4,000 acres. Because of a limit of 150 people per settlement, families are constantly outgrowing their colonies. When this happens, neighbouring Hutterites from as far away as South Dakota, pitch in to help found a new daughter colony., like the one now growing near Otterbourne, Manitoba. When it is completed 75 men and women from the Headingly mother colony will move in to continue and preserve the puritan way of life of the Hutterian Brethren.