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In recent years, choral, four-part singing has become more of a priority among Hutterites. The choirs usually consist of single young people (Buebm and Dienen) between the ages of 15 and 30. Choir sizes range from 10 to about 45 members. Many choirs are directed by Hutterites, whereas others have Mennonite and Holdemann directors. Singing practice usually occurs in the evenings.
Interest in choir singing has sparked even larger choirs gatherings among the Manitoba Schmiedeleut. The Western Manitoba Hutterian Youth Choir (WMHYC) is a 150 member choir made up of eight different colonies from western Manitoba. In fact this choir now has four CD's out; the last one was released August 2010. (Click for more information.) A lot of interest was generated when the WMHYC choir was formed and as a result, young Hutterites choir members from the eastern side of Manitoba created a choir as well which they named Prairie Praise.
It is important to note that Hutterites sing, not for self-glorification, but rather to praise God in song and to reach out to others. This is evident in the fact that Hutterian Choirs often are found singing at gatherings such as weddings, funerals, and special holidays such as Christmas and Easter. In addition, Hutterite choirs regularly sing at senior homes and in hospitals as a way of reaching out and bringing joy to others.
During winter, many Hutterites play hockey on rivers or ponds. Some colonies have constructed outdoor hockey rinks for their young people. Many winter afternoons or evenings are spent playing hockey.
During the summer, sports activities are a lot more varied than in winter. Volley ball and baseball are probably the Hutterian favorites. Other sports, such as soccer and touch football are played as well, but not to the same degree.
In some more conservative colonies all forms of sports are prohibited. In others, it is frowned on, but accepted.
The Schmiedeleut branch of the Hutterites generally do not discourage sports. They believe that being active in sports is a good alternative to other less desirable pursuits. In addition, it provides an ideal opportunity for co-operation among Hutterian young people.
Differences among the Leut
Three different branches of Hutterites live in the prairies of North America, the Schmiedeleut, the Dariusleut and the Lehrerleut. Even though all three "Leut" are Hutterites, there are some distinctive differences. However, it should be noted, that the original doctrine of all three groups is identical. The differences are mostly traditional and geographical.
Hutterian Brethren (Group 1) (Elder Jacob Kleinsasser, Crystal Spring, MB)
Group 2 Hutterites (Group 2 or Committee Hutterites)
2. Dariusleut (Elder Martin Walter, Spring Point Colony, AB)
3. Lehrerleut (Elder John Wipf, Rose Town Colony, SK)
The Schmiedeleut subdivided into two groups, the Hutterian Brethren and the Committee Hutterites, in 1992.
Geographical Locations of Hutterites
The Lehrerleut and the Dariusleut are located in the north-western part of North America, in Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Colombia, Montana, and Washington and Oregon.
The Schmiedeleut are all found in central North America in the province of Manitoba and the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.
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All three Leut wear modest clothing but different traditions have molded each group's distinctive clothing style. The Lehrerleut probably wear the most conservative clothing, followed by the Darius and and then the Schmiedeleut.
Origins of the 3 "Leut"
The Hutterites immigrated to the United States from Russia between 1874 and 1879.
These three groups share a common ancestry but differ basically in that they had different leaders upon immigrating into the Dakotas.
Schmiedeleut: The Schmiedeleut, under the eldership of Rev. Michael Waldner, established the first Hutterite Colony (Bon Homme) on North American soil in 1874. Rev. Michael Waldner was a Schmied (or blacksmith) hence the name, Schmiedeleut.
Bon homme Colony is located near Yankton SD, on the banks of the Missouri River, and is still inhabited today.
Dariusleut: The Dariusleut established Wolfcreek Colony near Olivet SD in 1875. The leader of the group was named Darius Hofer. Hence, they are called Dariusleut. Originally the Schmiedeleut and the Dariusleut had a single elder, Schmied Micheal.
The original Wolf Creek colony was sold in 1930 when the Dariusleut migrated to Alberta, Canada. Later, in 1963 the colony site was purchased by Tschetter Colony and rebuilt nearby. The colony name remained Wolf Creek.
Lehrerleut: The Lehrerleut established Elm Spring Colony in 1877. The leader of the Lehrerleut was a teacher (Lehrer), hence their name, Lehrerleut.
After selling this colony site in 1929, the Lehrerleut migrated to Canada, settling in Alberta. The original colony site was purchased in 1936 by a Schmiedeleut colony (Maxwell Col, MB) and renamed New Elm Spring.
|Distribution of Hutterite Colony by Province/State/Leut|
Close to 45 000 Hutterites live on 460 colonies in North America today.