Photo Friday | Inside Alberta’s Seclusive Hutterite Colonies

Films

Legendary NFB filmmaker (1926-2016) Colin Low had a gift for capturing life.

From Fogo Island to the ancestral lands of the Blood Indians, Low entered isolated communities and captured lives rarely – if ever – seen on film.

A great example of his knack for gaining both trust of and access to his subjects is his short film The Hutterites (1963), which documents life on a Hutterite farm colony in Northeast Alberta.

The Hutterites, or Hutterian Brethren, are a communal, pacifist Christian sect. Its members fled Germany, Hungary, Romania and Russia in search of a land where they could live as they believed, which includes completely isolating themselves from the world and what they regard as its “false values.”

Check out these rare photos from Colin Low’s shoot, below.

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Portrait of a young Hutterite mother with her daughter, Northeast Alberta, Canada.

HUTT_01

An elderly Hutterite woman is braiding the hair of a young Hutterite girl, Northeast Alberta, Canada.

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View of a young Hutterite girl eating at the dinner table, Northeast Alberta, Canada.

HUTT_04

A Hutterite farmer plows a large field on the colony, Northeast Alberta, Canada.

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Five Hutterite women, wearing their traditional garments with headdress and shawl, work in a field on their colony in Northeast Alberta, Canada.

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Several Hutterite children play in a field on the colony, Northeast Alberta, Canada.

HUTT-07

Portrait of young Hutterite boys, Northeast Alberta, Canada.

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Portrait of young Hutterite boys, Northeast Alberta, Canada.

HUTT-09

Portrait of a young Hutterite girl, Northeast Alberta, Canada.

Watch the film for free below:

The Hutterites, Colin Low, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

For contemporary short films on the Southern prairies of Alberta and Saskatchewan, check out Grasslands.