Hutterite lifestyle demands fitness

Rebecca Schultze

Rebecca Schultze

Hutterites remain self-sufficient and somewhat isolated, relying on highly efficient grain and livestock production, communal living and an equal distribution of material goods and labor among colony members.

Colony members dine in a common hall, resulting in similar diets among members of the same colony. The diet reflects the agricultural emphasis of the colony.

Children attend two schools at the colony: A regular “English” school taught by a certified public school teacher and a “German” school taught by Hutterite teachers.

Generally, schooling is completed by the age of 15. The females then enter the work rotation, which includes gardening, cleaning, painting, kitchen and laughdry, each day. The females may retire to duties of their choosing around age 45, but many will maintain the majority of the tasks beyond that age.

When males complete their schooling, they usually join the other men in the agricultural production field.

In the late 1800’s, Hutterites were persuaded to migrate to the Dakota Territory by the U.S. governemnt, with a promise of freedom from military duty. Nearly 15 percent of the world’s 370 Hutterite colonies are located in eastern South Dakota.