Since the mid-1800s, the Hutterites have comprised 3 main groups–the Lehrerleut, the Dariusleut, and the Schmiedeleut.

The Lehrerleut are considered the most conservative, with the Schmiedeluet being the most progressive, and Dariusleut somewhere in between.

hutterites saskatchewan

Hutterites at a farmer’s market in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

However, in 1992, The Schmiedeleut experienced an internal division, creating 2 separate Schmiedeleut groups.

Donald Kraybill’s Concise Encyclopedia of Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, and Mennonites gives some background on the Hutterites and this particular division.  From the Concise Encyclopedia:

Schmeideleut Hutterites, Gibb Group

The Schmiedeleut formed in 1859 in Russia when Michael Waldner (1823-1889) reinstituted the practice of communal property.  They were a single group from 1859 until they divided following an internal dispute in 1992.  This group became known as the Committee Hutterites or the Gibb Group because a non-Hutterite banker whose surname was Gibb supported their separation from the Kleinsasser Group.  Although the Gibb Group is more conservative in cultural practice than the Kleinsasser Group, the two Schmiedeleut branches are the most progressive of the Hutterite groups.  Twice as large as the Kleinsasser Group, the Gibb Group has about 120 colonies.  Nearly half of the group’s members live in Manitoba, and the rest–about 2,450 members in 61 colonies–live in Minnesota and North and South Dakota.

The three other Hutterite groups have their own separate entries in the Concise Encyclopedia as well, in addition to a longer general entry on Hutterites, which explains Hutterite beliefs and communal colony life.

Concise Encyclopedia of Amish, Brethren, Hutterites and Mennonites contest winners

Thanks to everyone who entered this book giveaway contest.  And thanks to Donald Kraybill for sharing his thoughts on the diverse Anabaptist groups of North America.  If you didn’t have a chance to read it, you can find an interesting interview with Kraybill here, and a guest post on the research and writing process here.

Here are the winners of a copy of the Concise Encyclopedia of Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, and Mennonites.  I used random.org to select winners.

If you commented more than once that is super–we love comments!–but I just counted the first comment for contest purposes:

kraybill encyclopedia hutteritesLeo (comment #69)

Donna Young (comment #41)

Anita (blog entry-anitashortorder.blogspot.com)

Hans Mast (blog entry-hansmast.com)

Eugenia McQueen (comment #40)

Congrats to all the winners, and if you send me the address where you’d like the book sent (send to amishamerica@gmail.com) I’ll pass those to Johns Hopkins so they can get your book to you.  If you didn’t win, you can get a copy of the Concise Encyclopedia here, among other places (makes a great Xmas gift!)

A couple parting thoughts

If you need some good listening material, there is a new podcast with Donald Kraybill on Amish spirituality available here.

And if you’d like to learn more on Hutterites, here is a dated but nonetheless very interesting documentary film from the 1960s, about an Alberta Hutterite colony:

Hutterite market photo credit: Peter Merholz

Tags: ,