Children play tag on a pyramid of straw bales under a rainbow after a light rain shower on a warm August evening. 

Spring Valley Colony - 2010

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Growing up Hutterite

2009 - Present

Portrait of Michelle Wurtz, oldest child of Tim and Katherina Wurtz, and fourteen at the time.

Deerboine Colony - 2013

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Joel Wurtz races past his sister Nicole as she lies on a serving cart in the kitchen while their mother Katherina prepares the essenshul (eating school) for the colony children before lunch. 

Deerboine Colony - 2010

 

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Heidi Hofer marches through the snow towards the church as the sun sets in late February. In most colonies, tradition calls for the church to be at the centre of the community with the colony homes surrounding it.

Deerboine Colony - 2013

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Andre Wurtz uses frogs as bait while fishing from the banks of the Assiniboine River on a warm June evening.

Deerboine Colony - 2013

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Angela Hofer donates blood at the Canadian Blood Services clinic in the Town Centre in Brandon, Manitoba. Although Hutterites can sometimes have a bad reputation among wary farmers and city-dwellers who are suspicious of their closed society, they are typically very eager to help their neighbours in mainstream society, donating blood in droves, sandbagging properties during floods, and donating food and other items to various charity drives.

Deerboine Colony - 2010

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Josh Wurtz, late to lunch after chores in the dairy barn, catches up with Chantel Hofer as she wipes down tables in the colony dining room. Hutterites have strict gender roles, with women tending to the cooking, cleaning and the garden, and men taking care of the farming and the businesses.

Deerboine Colony - 2010

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Chantel Hofer wears bright pink DC brand sneakers with her homemade dress outside her family's home at Deerboine Colony. Although conformity is the ideal on Hutterite colonies, individuals, especially young women, look for subtle ways to express their individuality. Deerboine Colony - 2013

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Junia Wurtz watches the movie The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants on a television at the colony school. An english teacher from off the colony brought in the movie for her to watch because she really enjoyed the book.

Deerboine Colony - 2010

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Justin Hofer after day two of butchering egg-laying chickens. Deerboine Colony along with Souris River Colony butchered approximately 11,000 chickens over two days. The work is hard and not particularly appetizing, especially for a vegetarian. The women s

Justin Hofer after day two of butchering egg-laying chickens. Deerboine Colony along with Souris River Colony butchered approximately 11,000 chickens over two days. The work is hard and not particularly appetizing.

Deerboine Colony - 2015

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Essenshul (Eating School) mother Katherina Wurtz leads children in a prayer before lunch. Children between the age of 5 and 15 eat separately from the adults in the Essenshul where they are taught to eat quickly and quietly and behave. At 15 they get to graduate to the adult dining area which is a celebrated right of passage for the children.

Deerboine Colony - 2012

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A Spongebob Squarepants backpack hanging on a hook in the Essenshul (eating school) shows a sign of mainstream influence on the colony.

Deerboine Colony - 2010

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Tommy Hofer arm-wrestles a young woman from a neighbouring farm as some of Deerboine Colony's young people unwind after the yearly fall harvest sale. Events at colonies such as baptisms, weddings and helping with farm work allow young members to socialize and meet members of the opposite sex from outside their colony.

Deerboine Colony - 2010

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Deborah Hofer sews her baptism dress in the sewing room of her family's home at Deerboine Colony. The Hutterites believe in adult baptism with each candidate choosing when they are ready. It as seen as the most important step in a Hutterite's life and signifies the candidate's acceptance to carry on the Hutterite faith and traditions.

Deerboine Colony - 2011

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Deerboine Colony Minister Tom Hofer lectures his two youngest children, Tommy and Deborah, in their home prior to their baptism. The Hutterites believe in adult baptism with each candidate choosing when they are ready. It as seen as the most important step in a Hutterite's life.

 Deerboine Colony - 2011

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Angela Hofer and Chantel Hofer chase Kristiane Hofer while the girls goof around in the garden in late July.

Deerboine Colony - 2010

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With a flower in her hair and braces on her teeth, Dahlia Wurtz smiles while working outside the greenhouse.

Deerboine Colony - 2010

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Chantel Hofer and Angela Hofer are bathed in the glow of the fire as they sit in the cab of a truck watching the colony wood shop burn to the ground. The fire started in the middle of the night and despite help from nearby rural fire departments, the wood shop could not be saved.

Deerboine Colony - 2010

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Chantel Hofer takes a photo of the burning remains of the wood shop alongside her sister Kristiane. 

Deerboine Colony - 2010

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Junia Wurtz watches as Terena Hofer swings high in the air on a swing set at Deerboine Colony on a July evening. Children spend a large portion of their days playing outside on the colony when they don't have school or chores.

Deerboine Colony - 2010

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Simeon Wurtz tries to corner a duck while helping with the slaughter. Children are taught to pull their weight on the colony at an early age.

Deerboine Colony - 2010

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Young women from Deerboine Colony socialize on a hill overlooking the Assiniboine River valley where their colony is situated as the light fades on a warm July evening.

Deerboine Colony - 2013

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Family and friends laugh as bride and groom Deborah Hofer and Derek Maendel are pressured into a kiss during the farewell party for the bride at Deerboine Colony. In Hutterite society the bride always marries to the groom's colony.

Deerboine Colony - 2013

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Deborah Hofer says a tearful goodbye to Edna Hofer before making the journey from Manitoba to North Dakota to marry into Forest River Colony. Leaving the only home they've ever known to move to a new colony can prove difficult or scary at first for many Hutterite women.

Deerboine Colony - 2013

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Trisha Maendel waits for the puck while playing shinny with friends on the colony ice rink on a late December evening. The affluent colony has a warm-up hut and a zamboni for cleaning the ice.

Acadia Colony - 2011

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Michelle Wurtz tugs on the suspenders of her younger brother Simeon while having an after-school snack.

Deerboine Colony - 2010 

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Joel Wurtz wipes his eye on his mother Katherina's dress after getting something in it while joining his father and other Deerboine Colony men in the field for a field supper in late May.

 Deerboine Colony - 2013

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Bethany and Simeon chicken-fight atop Isabel and Junia while playing in the colony swimming hole on a hot July evening. Wearing store-bought bathing suits and t-shirts they could be easily mistaken for everyday kids from mainstream society.

Deerboine Colony - 2010

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15072015.Kaitlyn Wurtz takes a break while swimming in Deerboine Colony's spring-fed swimming hole on a hot summer day. 2015..(Tim Smith)

Kaitlyn Wurtz takes a break while swimming in Deerboine Colony's spring-fed swimming hole on a hot summer day. Deerboine Colony - 2015

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26082015.Saphira Hofer and Nicole Wurtz look after some of the younger children on the colony while their mothers work in August..(Tim Smith)

Saphira Hofer and Nicole Wurtz look after some of the younger children on the colony while their mothers work in August.

Deerboine Colony - 2015

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Angela Hofer plays guitar and sings along with Dahlia Wurtz during a sing-along at a home on Deerboine Colony. In addition to traditional hymns sung in their low-german dialect, a few country songs and other tunes were also sung.

Deerboine Colony - 2010

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Lucas Hofer lies in the arms of his mother Kathy during a party and sing-along at a home after the annual christmas pageant in December.

Deerboine Colony - 2010

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Tyler Wurtz says evening prayers with his father Michael before bed.

Deerboine Colony - 2012

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Angela Hofer of Deerboine Colony and Jacob Maendel of Treesbank Colony laugh while having engagement photos taken near Brandon, Manitoba.

Angela Hofer of Deerboine Colony and Jacob Maendel of Treesbank Colony laugh while having engagement photos taken near Brandon, Manitoba. In Hutterite society the woman always marries to the man's colony. 

Deerboine Colony - 2011

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Katherina and Tim Wurtz sit in a grain truck with their children watching the harvest and waiting for combines to fill the truck on land owned by Deerboine Colony in late August.

Deerboine Colony - 2010

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23092015.Lots of laughs during a game where unfortunate and unlikely diseases are paired with even more absurd cures during Matthew Hofer's 15th birthday party..(Tim Smith)

Lots of laughs during a game at Matthew Hofer's 15th birthday party. 15 is an important milestone amongst the Hutterites. On their 15th birthday, children leave the seperate dining area known as the Essenshul (eating school) and begin dining amongst the adults. They are given more resposibilities and more is expected of them. It is the beginning of their transition to adulthood.

Deerboine Colony - 2015

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Rebecca, Deborah, Dahlia and Lana, diene (low german for unmarried young women) from Deerboine Colony stand in a field of canola at sunset.

Deerboine Colony - 2010

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Rollerblading outside the Minister's home in early fall. .Deerboine Colony - 2010

Rollerblading outside the Minister's home in early fall. 

Deerboine Colony - 2010

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29042015..(Tim Smith)

Chantel Hofer.

Deerboine Colony - 2015


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Last sliver of light as the sun sets and the moon rises over the toboggan hill at Acadia Hutterite Colony. January, 2016.
Last sliver of light as the sun sets and the moon rises over the toboggan hill at Acadia Hutterite Colony.

Acadia Colony - 2016.

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