The noncommunal Hutterites organized themselves into small church congregations; their settlement pattern of independent farmsteads was more open and loose than the compact colony settlements of the communal Hutterites. The noncommunal Hutterites have come to be known as the Prairieleut . Most who remained have stayed loyal to their Anabaptist religious heritage and have associated themselves with other Mennonite settlers in the area. They still comprise an important segment of community life in central and southeasternSouth Dakotaand in other, smaller communities in the United Sates and Canada(All Things Common 2-7).
The initial phase of Hutterite communal settlement inNorth America witnessed the emergence of few, if any, significant differences between the three communal Hutterite groups. They were located close to one another in south eastern Dakota Territory, allowing and recognizing marriage unions between the three Leut, or peoples as they continued to classify themselves, even after the numbers of colonies swelled beyond the initial three(Today’s Hutterites 2-7). They considered themselves to be collectively а group apart from their more numerous, noncommunal Hutterite cousins.