Amana Church Society (əmănˈə) [key], corporate name of a group of seven small villages in E central Iowa, clustered around the Iowa River NW of Iowa City; settled 1855 by members of the Ebenezer Society. The society originated in one of the Pietist religious groups of 17th-century Germany. Led by Christian Metz (1794–1867), 800 members emigrated to the United States in 1842 to escape persecution at home. Settling first near Buffalo, N.Y., they developed a communal way of life that reached its flowering in Iowa. Amana became one of the most successful of such communities in America. In 1932 it was made a cooperative corporation, with separation of religious and economic administration. Long famous for the products of their woolen mills (especially blankets) and farms, the quaint villages also attract many visitors. The name Amana is used for a refrigerator and appliance company located there; the company is not owned by the society. There are about 500 members of the society today.
See study by J. Liffring-Zug (1975).
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