45 responses to An interview with Manitoba Hutterite Linda Maendel
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    Comment on An interview with Manitoba Hutterite Linda Maendel (October 12th, 2011 at 08:29)

    Do Hutterite colonies engage in agritourism?

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      Comment on Agritourism (October 12th, 2011 at 09:17)


      We don’t engage in agritourism in a big way, where we’d do whole days of it. However we do tours, somtimes it’s just a few people other times it would be a busload. Most of enjoy sharing our unique way of life with others.

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    Comment on An interview with Manitoba Hutterite Linda Maendel (October 12th, 2011 at 08:48)

    I am very interested in Hutterite life, having seen Hutterites when crossing Canada, and I found Mary-Ann’s book enlightening. It is a model that the groups that call themselves “New Monastics” could use. Similar Christian groups have been formed but did not always succeed; the Shakers did not marry, expecting the return of Christ imminently; the Oneida Colony had financial and organizational problems. I think one of the challenges is that modern people grow up with a kind of individualism that is hard to sacrifice, with a way of life that has encouraged private ownership as an unalienable good. At mid-life, and as Plain-living Christians, my husband and I could adapt to Hutterite life, but I think our life circumstances would not be acceptable to Anabaptism, and although I learn languages quickly, my husband does not. Otherwise, Hutterite life is very appealing to us.

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    Comment on An interview with Manitoba Hutterite Linda Maendel (October 12th, 2011 at 09:19)

    Interesting! The Hutterites have an interesting history. Peter Riedemann (one of their early leaders) happens to be a hero of mine.
    Other sites that include information on Hutterites are http://www.thecommonlife.com.au/ and http://www.elmendorfbelievers.com/
    The key to understanding Hutterites (and other Anabaptists) is that they hold to the concept of “laying aside the pursuit of the good of the individual in preference to the pursuit of the good of the whole.”
    About why Marxism (“Communism”) failed while the Hutterites havent, I think the main difference is that Marxism tried to accomplish its goal with machine guns, while brotherhood and community among Anabaptists is (theoretically) totally voluntary. There is a big difference in attitude between the man who voluntarily gives up his selfish pursuit of wealth, and the man who has his wealth stripped from him at gunpoint.
    And it is not just about material wealth, it is also about giving up egoism in all its forms to become the man truly out to benefit the community as a whole, rather than benefit himself.
    Of course, Jesus was the prime example of all this, the Man who took on a human body and came to this messed up world to be an example of condescending to the poor and giving them a helping hand.

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      Comment on Community of Goods (October 12th, 2011 at 09:37)

      Community of Goods

      Very well said!! Thank you so much!

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    Comment on Excellent Article! (October 12th, 2011 at 09:55)

    Excellent Article!

    First thanks for doing such a great article! Very informative and eye opening.

    Linda I have since bookmarked your blog page. I purchased “I Am Hutterite” but have yet to start reading it. I am now even more eager to get started on it.

    Again thanks for the lesson in Hutterites!

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      Comment on Books (October 12th, 2011 at 09:59)


      Thanks Allyson! You may also find some interesting reads at http://hbbookcentre.com/

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        Comment on HB Book Centre (October 12th, 2011 at 10:05)

        HB Book Centre

        Linda, the HB Book Center is a great resource. My only complaint is that they dont seem to answer emails in a timely manner. Is that your colony? I have emailed them a couple of weeks ago about the CD of digital Hutterite books, and never did get a response. Not the first time it has happened. Maybe they are busy harvesting or something. 🙂

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          Comment on HB Book Centre (October 12th, 2011 at 10:12)

          HB Book Centre

          No, it’s not my colony. But rest assured I will pass this message on to them. No, don’t think harvesting is a valid excuse either.

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          Comment on An interview with Manitoba Hutterite Linda Maendel (October 12th, 2011 at 10:27)

          Hi Mike, sorry that your emails have not been answered. Can you try sending it again? I don’t recall receiving it; though I may be a few days behind in responding at times, I do try to respond to each email.

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    Comment on Hutterite German (October 12th, 2011 at 11:29)

    Hutterite German

    Which dialect of German do the Schmiedleut speak? Is the German of the Hutterites and the Deitsch of the Amish mutually understandable?

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      Comment on Hutterite German (October 12th, 2011 at 11:34)

      Hutterite German

      We speak Carinthian German a dialect orginating from the Carinthia province in Austria, and which we fondly call Hutterisch. I’ve never heard the Amish dialect spoken, but when I see it in books, I can make out some of it.

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    Comment on Hutterite Relations (October 12th, 2011 at 11:40)

    Hutterite Relations

    My mother Margaret Maendel grew up as a Hutterite in Canada. My grandmother Sarah Maendel is buried in Oak Bluff Colony. I have explored the Hutterite roots from the Tyrol region in Austria where Jacob Hutter was. I hope one day I will be able to visit the Hutterites and gain a better understanding of my mother’s history. Thank you for what you have shared.

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      Comment on Hutterite Relations (October 12th, 2011 at 11:49)

      Hutterite Relations

      Interesting!! I wonder if I know your family. I would love to hear more from you, if you don’t mind. You can go to my blog, (mentioned at the bottom of the interview) and email me from there.

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    Comment on Hutterisch (October 12th, 2011 at 14:13)


    Thanks, Linda.

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    Comment on An interview with Manitoba Hutterite Linda Maendel (October 12th, 2011 at 16:50)

    Does each family have their own home or do y’all live together in a type of dorm setting? Do individuals get to decide what they want to do (farm, carpentry, etc.) or is that decided for them? Do the women make the clothes? If so, do they make them for just their own family or for the whole community? Are individuals free to come and go as they want? Are the cars for the community or do individuals own their own cars? How much free time do y’all get and what kinds of things do you do with that free time?

    Hutterites are a very mysterious group to me, partly because living in the south we don’t have any, and partly because so little is written about them. Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. 🙂

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      Comment on An interview with Manitoba Hutterite Linda Maendel (October 12th, 2011 at 21:20)

      It’s managed by the colony secretary, each colony has a bank account. If it’s something needed in the kitchen the headcook will decide and the same for other work places. sometimes a group of people in a barn or shop will make decide, then bring it to the brotherhood for approval if it’s a large item such as a vehicle. We pay taxes like everybody else and as far as I know we’re considered a corporation. Selfishness: there would probably be discussions about it, or if need be someone would be admonished. In other cases the selfish person would just leave. This is not to say, that there are no selfish people living in the colony. We try to live so others see an example of unselfishness and learn from it.

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      Comment on Family/housing (October 12th, 2011 at 21:32)


      Each family has their own home. sometimes you’re asked if you want to do a certain job, other times you may be appointed. We learn from young on that we’re here to serve the community and for the most part it doesn’t bother us when we’re appointed to a job. If the job is not to your liking, you would still try to do it, and more often than not, you learn to like it and accept it since the colony has entrusted you with it and saw you as a good person for it. Yes, each family sews most of their own clothes, some are store bought as well. No, we don’t come and go as we please, because we do have work that needs to be done and if someone needs to go someone they would ask the leadership. The vehicles belong to the colony. There’s quite a bit of free time and people use it differently, could be sports, sewing, crafts, reading, blogging….

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    Comment on Communal living (October 12th, 2011 at 19:30)

    Communal living

    Dear Linda,

    If you do not have personal bank accounts, how are personal finances managed? Is personal incomed pooled into a group account? Who decides which purchases are made for the good of the colony? How are indifferences to purchases handled. How are income taxes paid? From a goverment standpoint, is a colony viewed as a corporation or separate entity? If selfishness developes within a colony, how is it handled. Perhaps you could elaborate on this topic.

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    Comment on An interview with Manitoba Hutterite Linda Maendel (October 12th, 2011 at 23:24)

    How is the dress code decided? Also, is there any significance to the polka dot pattern of the Hutterite head scarves? 🙂

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      Comment on clothing (October 13th, 2011 at 08:01)


      We’ve been dressing modestly, with mostly the same style of dress, although changes have been made over the years. Can’t say who decided, as they were gradual changes….No, the polka dots have no significance at all. In fact, today many wear completely black head coverings.

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    Comment on An interview with Manitoba Hutterite Linda Maendel (October 13th, 2011 at 01:21)

    Linda, thank you so much for answering our questions! Your responses are fascinating. I have two questions:

    1) At what point does a young person raised on a Hutterite colony make a formal commitment to be a Hutterite? Are youngsters encouraged to explore the outside world a bit before formally joining, as the Amish do with “rumspringra”?

    2) Do Hutterite colonies ever accept new converts? How often does this happen? (I ask this out of curiousity, not in an attempt to join).

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      Comment on Your welcone, Ed! (October 13th, 2011 at 08:09)

      Your welcone, Ed!

      Young people usually ask for baptism in their early twenties, thus making a committment to God and the church. No, we don’t encourage anybody to explore the outside world, and most have enough exposure to it anyway. But some leave and return after a time, others never return. Nobody is forced to stay, as it doesn’t work to live here half-heartedly.
      Yes, some have joined the life, and are very happy. It doesn’t happen very often, though.

  • Linda, I’ve really been enjoying your follow-up answers. Thanks for taking the time for us here.

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    Comment on working with the neighbours (October 21st, 2011 at 22:08)

    working with the neighbours

    What is colony/church policy (generally at any rate) about working with the neighbours, other farmers particularly, and sharing the use of property – equipment etc, outside the colony when needed or seasonally? Has this changed over time, it used to be said that Hutterites were reluctant to help at various times during the various seasons (because of prejudice on both sides of the fence, I suppose)? I wonder if this has changed.

    Please don’t take that as rude of me, or prejudiced. This was a viewpoint held in my family (I have many relatives who still live in the west of Manitoba), and I wanted to find out for myself, if it is, or was the case.

    I enjoyed the interview and look forward to viewing your blog! You are doing a great service here!

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      Comment on working with neighbours (October 22nd, 2011 at 08:02)

      working with neighbours

      Again, I can’t speak for all colonies, but ever since I remember, we’ve always worked with neighbors, as have many other colonies that I know. That would include helping them fix farm equipment, clearing snow on their property, fighting fires and this list can go on. Don’t worry, it’s not rude to ask.
      Oh, and tell your family, too, no worries, when they need help with something just go to a nearby colony.

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    Wilson, R R
    Comment on An interview with Manitoba Hutterite Linda Maendel (March 18th, 2012 at 10:13)

    Sounds a bit like the ol’ hippie communes, to me. did not see any pics of humans?

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      Comment on An interview with Manitoba Hutterite Linda Maendel (March 18th, 2012 at 10:47)

      If you wish, Wilson, you may come for a visit. Plenty of humans here who’d be more than happy to introduce you to this wonderful way of life – never mind pictures…see the real thing!

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        Bren Carmody
        Comment on Lifstyle of Hutterite. (March 7th, 2013 at 18:53)

        Lifstyle of Hutterite.

        Everyone is not suitable for “public life” and I often wonder why people who do not adopt the public life style may be considered different.
        I live alone and am told that I should socialize more often.I am very happy.I did have some friends that I spent most of my free time with.Unfortunately they have passed on to a greater place.If we had more real communities and colonies the world could be a better place.

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    Comment on holidays (November 22nd, 2012 at 18:59)


    Hi Linda, I love your interesting blog. How do holidays work in the colony? Which are celebrated? Which aren’t celebrated? Are gifts allowed for Christmas, Birthdays and Anniversaries or Weddings? Do you work on holidays aside from normal feeding of the animals?

    What are weddings like? what food is served? what clothes are worn?

    Thanks again Linda and have a great weekend.. 🙂

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      Comment on An interview with Manitoba Hutterite Linda Maendel (November 22nd, 2012 at 21:07)

      Dar, Thanks for stopping by my blog. For most of your questions, you’ll find answers there as well. Aside from going through the labels to find what you’re looking for, I’m not sure how to help you get to the right posts from this comment.
      We celebrate all church Holidays, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving… We do not celebrate Halloween. Yes, of course gifts are allowed. Not too much work happening on holidays.

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    Comment on An interview with Manitoba Hutterite Linda Maendel (December 15th, 2012 at 10:07)

    Thanks for taking the time for us here.

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    Comment on hope chest (December 22nd, 2012 at 18:34)

    hope chest

    I was wondering if you knew of any Hutterite carpenters around Brandon, Manitoba that would be willing to build a hope chest for my daughter, we are starting to gather the items she will need for marriage and we are having a hard time finding a traditional hope chest. Any information you can provide would be great, thank-you in advance.

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    Comment on hope chest (December 22nd, 2012 at 19:39)

    hope chest

    Carmen, if you’d email me (linda[dot]maendel[at]gmail[dot]com with more information, I could try to put you in contact with someone.

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    Mary Thomas
    Comment on Sadly Most Hutterites are NOT Born Again!!! (October 6th, 2013 at 19:24)

    Sadly Most Hutterites are NOT Born Again!!!

    The Hutterian way of life is fascinating and Biblical … it is just too bad that the actual Hutterite individuals, for the most part, are NOT truly “born again” and if they truly repent of their sins (to Jesus, rather than an elder), become born again and live for the Lord before the church, they are harassed and EXCOMMUNICATED!

    I recently found out that the above is exactly what happened to many of the brothers and sisters at the community in Fort Pitt, Saskatchewan … that is the ONE AND ONLY Canadian Hutterite colony in all of Canada that I know of that has actual born again Christian members and the rest of the Hutterite colonies know it and every year more and more seem to be leaving their colonies to try and join those at Fort Pitt.

    A colony is NOT “the ark” and water baptism is not salvation … JESUS CHRIST is the foundation of the church and He and He alone must be the FIRST LOVE of all the Hutterites!

    The Fort Pitt website is: http://www.fortpittfarms.ca/main_page.html

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    Comment on An interview with Manitoba Hutterite Linda Maendel (October 6th, 2013 at 19:57)

    Mary Thomas, it seems to me that you’re somewhat misinformed. Never judge any group of people, or way of life by what a few people tell you. Because that is seldom accurate and very unfair. Go visit other colonies, in all Hutterite groups and you’ll soon know what I mean.

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    deanna waldner
    Comment on born again (May 8th, 2014 at 08:46)

    born again

    I grew up Hutterite and I love my Hutterite roots. I was a born again Hutterite and know many who are born again and live the colony life. There is a difference in being born again and living your life …..being gentle, quiet, humble and showing love to others…..and being born again and living your life as a lion….bold, loud, brash, in your face and turning others off. Some folk have an experience that really changes them from night to day and they take that freedom as meaning now they don’t have to be subject to colony rules. They have a right to leave. If you are part of an orginization but no longer want to conform, it is time to move on. If a whole colony decides to part ways with how the Hutterite church does things, than they should expect to be ex communicated. Why would they be surprised? It is how it has always been done. It is the same way, well maybe not quite so radical, but basically the same way with any church on the outside of the colony. If you change your policies or ways of preaching and teaching in a Mennonite church, well than, you might be asked to remove the name Mennonite from your church name. It all boils down to playing by the rules of the enemy…..building walls, instead of tearing them down. It is all over the world….and it doesn’t mean one side or the other isn’t born again. Christians all have one goal, spending eternity in Heaven. We just get so caught up in wanting to be right and wanting to prove it, that we kind of lose sight of that goal.

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      Comment on An interview with Manitoba Hutterite Linda Maendel (May 8th, 2014 at 11:03)

      “Christians all have one goal, spending eternity in Heaven. We just get so caught up in wanting to be right and wanting to prove it, that we kind of lose sight of that goal.” VERY WELL SAID.

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    Comment on Drive? (December 19th, 2014 at 12:45)


    Do Hutterite women drive ?

    Thank you

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    Comment on An interview with Manitoba Hutterite Linda Maendel (December 19th, 2014 at 12:47)

    Yes, Jewely, some do. Most, like myself, prefer not to, though.

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    Comment on An interview with Manitoba Hutterite Linda Maendel (May 21st, 2015 at 09:43)

    Very interesting reading. Would you happen to know where in Manitoba most Hutterites aside?


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