The Hmong Culture

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Throughout the mountainous territory of China, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam are the tribal people the Hmong. The Hmong have faced a number of struggles throughout their history including unfriendly relations with the Chinese dating back to twenty-seventh B.C., uprising against French oppression, and the devastating impacts of World War II and war in Southeast Asia. While these struggles affected the lives of the Hmong people as some fought in wars and were forced to relocate, a deeper look into the Hmong people reveals a culture rich in tradition, social organization, and religious beliefs. The Hmong practice a slash and burn agricultural technique in order to clear room for their crops and fertilize the soil. They are a migratory people who…show more content…
One important feature is the support beam in the middle which represents the guardian spirit of the home. Homes are always strategically placed near water, family and the fields. When selecting the location, it is tradition to leave rice on the ground over night or a stick in the ground, if the rice is there or the stick becomes longer the location is acceptable. The Hmong tradition is most commonly passed down orally. Their language was not written until the 1950’s and was made possible by western missionaries. Their tonal language reflects the great influence of music embedded in their culture. Musical instruments include a bamboo style organ, a two string violin and various percussion instruments. Accompanying their music is the colorful dress apparels the make which includes skirts, belts, and vests. The importance of clothing lies in the stories and traditions that are most commonly woven into the skirts. Hmong villages are unique in that they do not depend on the bond between all households that other ethnic peoples rely on. The Hmong focus on individual households. The members of families are linked to their fathers clan and patrilineal clans divided into…show more content…
This happens when a person falls considerably ill and an experienced shaman determines that they have received the blessing. Following this the person goes with an instructor for several years to learn of the traditions of the shaman and Hmong people. One of the most devastating events in Hmong history is the Vietnam War. Despite being told that they would receive aid from the United States in exchange for military support, the Hmong were left in disarray after the war. The Hmong were forced to remain on the run from communist groups as those that were identified for helping the US were thrown in reeducation camps. The Hmong sought refuge in Thailand, but the journey was difficult as they had to travel at night and be silent while avoiding mines and dealing with the sick. Mothers would give babies small doses of opium to keep them quiet along the way. Thailand was not as accepting of the Hmong as they would have liked. Some of the Hmong took refuge in the US, especially those who had worked with them, while others remained. However in 1992 Thailand shut down the Hmong refugee camp and told them to return to Laos or seek resettlement in another

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