Hidden Worlds - Book Cover

Hidden Worlds

Revisiting the Mennonite Migrants of the 1870s

Royden K. Loewen

In the 1870s,approximately 18,000 Mennonites migrated from the southern steppes of Imperial Russia (present-day Ukraine) to the North American grasslands. They brought with them an array of cultural and institutional features that indicated they were a "transplanted" people. What is less frequently noted, however, is that they created in their everyday lives a world that ensured their cultural longevity and social cohesiveness in a new land.

Their adaptation to the New World required new concepts of social boundary and community, new strategies of land ownership and legacy, new aassociations, and new ways of interacting with markets.

In Hidden Worlds, historian Royden Loewen illuminates some of these adaptations, which have been largely overshadowed by an emphasis on institutional history, or whose sources have only recently been revealed. Through an analysis of diaries, wills, newspaper articles, census and tax records, and other literature, an examination of inerhitance practices, household dynamics, and gender relations, and a comparison of several Mennonite communities in the United States and Canada, Loewen uncovers the multidimensional and highly resourceful character of the 1870s migrants.

"Loewen gives a completely new and dynamic image of the 1870s emigrant… This is an important contribution to the fields of immigrant and ethnic history, rural social history and gender history."

— Marlene Epp, University of Waterloo

"Useful not just for Mennonite historians, but for the general population of rural/agricultural and immigration historians."

— Pamela Riney-Kehrburg, Iowa State University

Paperback: 154 pages
Publisher: University of Manitoba Press (November 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0887556558
ISBN-13: 978-0887556555