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Who Are The Hutterites

July 4, 2012 by staff 

Who Are The Hutterites, I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True Story of a Young Woman’s Journey to Reclaim Her Heritage
Author: Mary-Ann Kirkby
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Published: May 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8499-4810-7
Review Rating: 4 of 5 stars = Excellent

With the popularity of the National Geographic reality television show, Meet the Hutterites, the spotlight has been placed on Hutterite culture as never before. And, the Hutterite community as a whole has not been pleased with the results. The Bishops of the three Hutterite sects, in fact, came together in a press release to denounce the depiction of Hutterite life by National Geographic. Before presenting the release, the Bishops and Elders consulted with trusted Hutterite authority Mary-Ann Kirkby.

Mary-Ann Kirkby was born on a Canadian Hutterite colony near Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. Although raised in Hutterite tradition, her parents left the colony abruptly when she was only 10 years old, at which time she was forced to learn about and adapt to life in the “English” world, outside the safe boundaries of Hutterite life. To survive, Kirkby began denying her heritage, and simply tried to fit in with the new culture she did not understand, and get along with people who did not understand her.

I Am Hutterite is Kirkby’s first book, and is an attempt by Kirkby to embrace her role as the product of two cultures. When the Hutterite Bishops and Elders released their statement on the new reality TV show, Meet the Hutterites, and consulted with Kirkby in preparing the release, they also indicated that her book “is considered the definitive account of present-day Hutterite Life.”

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