We've been talking on this site the past several weeks about the NatGeo series "Amish: Out of Order." I think the series has been interesting and entertaining but, personally, the one that I really want to see debuts tonight on the NatGeo channel. A 10-part installment of American Colony: Meet the Hutterites will give readers a unique view of this much lesser known group. The Amish - despite their insular inclinations -are almost in danger of overexposure in the media. While Amish: Out of Order focuses more on people who have left this series focuses on an actual Hutterite colony, people who are still in the faith. A brief refresher: the Hutterites are an Anabaptist group in the same theological mold as the Amish and Mennonites. The difference is that the Hutterites live communally. They de-emphasize the individual and focus on creating community. Like the Amish they speak a dialect of German and dress plainly, but they do embrace technology more liberally than the Amish especially as it relates to farming. Like Amish settlements where some are more conservative and some more progressive, Hutterite colonies can be vastly different with some being ultra-conservative (think Swartzentruber Amish) and others being more liberal. If I had to guess, the King Colony, where the series was filmed, is probably a more open group than others. Where the Amish have Yoder as probably the most common surname (the Amish are a FAR larger group, so you have different last names that are pervasive in different areas), the Hutterites have Hofer and Wipf as the most common last names (Waldner is also common). As you can imagine the Hutterites are not genetically a very diverse people which leads to some of the same health issues that the Amish experience. Anyway, tune in tonight on NatGeo for what promises to be a fascinating series! Here is an article from the Great Falls, Montana paper (where most of the colonies are) that tells how this series came about.
Photo courtesy of National Geographic Channel.