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Ethnic Hmong

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admingroup View Drop Down

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    Posted: 21 March 2010 at 00:53
Ethnic Hmong reside on a broad geographical areas in Asia, the territory of five countries: China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.

1 - The structure of ethnic Hmong in the world

Ethnic Hmong reside on a broad geographical areas in Asia, the territory of five countries: China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.

In China, the Hmong are the largest population, about 7.398 million people, mainly in Guizhou province, including four groups: White Hmong, Blue Hmong, Black Hmong, Flower Hmong.

In Laos, the Hmong have 315,000 people, mainly from China and migrated to Vietnam, including the White Hmong, Blue Hmong.

In Thailand, there are 152, with 152,000 people, including Hmong and White, Green Hmong, mostly migrants from China, Laos to.

In Myanmar, about 25,000 people, migrated from China and Laos to.

In Vietnam, the Hmong ethnic minority number of people, living mainly in the mountainous north. According to Census 1999, our country has 787.604 Hmong, accounting for 1% of the population nationwide. In recent years, there is a move of the Hmong in the southern provinces, mainly in the Highlands provinces, in addition to the trend from East to West (Laos) continued.

In addition, today in Western countries like the U.S., France, Australia ... also Hmong community living, mainly in the U.S. (250,000 to 300,000), emigrated from Laos to the 1975. In France there are about 11,400 people, has about 2,000 people in Australia, Canada had 600 people ...

History, according to the researchers, the Hmong ethnic minority groups living in China (the Chinese called Miao). Historically, from the fourth century, China has formed Kingdom HMông. Centuries, they must continually struggle against the pressure of the Han. X century, the Kingdom of Hmong disintegrated.

However, the Hmong are not subject to the assimilation of the Han. Due to the forced insertion of the Han, the Hmong migrated to the south. Thus, the Hmong live in the world today have originated from China. The conflict between the Han and Hmong history in China led to the migration of the Hmong are very heavy, so far as this still exists, other forms ...

2 - The Hmong in Vietnam

Currently, great majority of Hmong in Vietnam residing in the northern mountainous regions. Hmong version available in 2384, of 538 communes, the most crowded in Ha Giang, Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Son La, Yen Bai, Cao Bang, Nghe An, Tuyen Quang, Thanh Hoa, Bac Thai, Hoa Binh, Lang Son and some others. Historically, the Hmong migrants do not tend to adapt to circumstances. How migrating traditional Hmong in Vietnam is from east to west, along the forest. From 1990 to present more information about new migrants from the northern mountainous region in the Central Highlands and some southern provinces (North - South).

The Hmong in Vietnam, as well as the Hmong in Laos, Thailand, Myanmar are derived from migrating to China.

According to scholars of Vietnam, the Hmong migrants in Vietnam has three phases: the first as early as the XVII century; two times in the years 1769 to 1820; three times at the time of the uprising Taiping Rebellion in China national failure.

A Chinese scholar said that the historic migration of the Hmong (Miao) in Vietnam with four waves, from the XVII century to the Opium War in China. Say so does not mean the move of the Hmong in Vietnam or some countries up to now has expired. One of the properties of the Hmong is moved, when they are not enough to cope with situations.

Process shifted the Hmong are complex, free migration of the Hmong in the Central Highlands provinces (including ethnicity, as Nung, Thai, Dao ...) took place is multi-faceted personnel. Due to the transformation of economic institutions (land allocation to households, there is a claim ancestral land, lack of arable land cultivated bad ...), land, forests destroyed more ... Border war in 1979 also has a certain impact. In addition, problems associated with the religion of engaging hostile forces and to move residents. However, the migration of the Hmong have the factors of history and traditions.

Hmong residents in the area wide, so right in their community has the ability to deal very diverse, reflecting the adaptation of Mongolia, especially through farming systems. For upland as Meo Vac, Dong Van (Ha Giang), how to adapt their mainly maize in pits and stone dish is preferred men men (corn mill). But in Lao Cai, they have relatively large rice paddies and fields stairs very nice.

3 - Features of Hmong society

a) family institution

Up to now there are about 20 Hmong family. Link structure of the Hmong family has the following characteristics:

- Configuring Link Width: According to the Mongolia, who are the same they are brothers, even where that person resides, regardless of the national border.

- Configure narrow link: Those who have the same blood stream their father. However, the relationship of the Hmong family based on many criteria. First blood relations and then the customs and rituals similar. Who have the same code (worship the same way), is considered the same family. The Hmong are one of the indispensable ritual is done already (which are, offering sacrifices as cows). Each line is how they worship, location to cows, the flight (which they show a part, they display a 5 part ..., the principle of retail). By way of the Hmong, people explain the odd number of code numbers to worship. When two Hmong met, people do not question his ancestors are, just ask that he be described how the little display. If the same, just that they are brothers intestine.

One way to recognize other family ties in the chamber through the same code (and to wish for the herd). Chamber is the residence of the woman, but woman is the specialist to take care of livestock. When the same code chamber, wish for livestock development, each family has a different offering.

Each family has a type, there are specific code. Placing the dead in the home depends on family. Along the line they have set the Monitoring the altar, but they set the horizontal line. Kham concept of family is different. There are admirable concept family home, a family cemetery lifting the dead then admirable concept. The distinctions of the Hmong have created calculated cohesive who have blood relations with each other. People with the Hmong family to die together. Besides the refrain of food and other food.

b) Organization of the family

- The role of adults their largest, called the Hmong origin. Head of them who understand the regulations, articles of your own family, expertise and customary behavior. Head they are reputable, have knowledge of the tradition of the family. Head where they are elected, have a place to inherit, not the communication connection, no pattern, depending on family manipulate different. The role of adults they dominated most areas of the Hmong (in production, Funeral, marriage, moving). Want to work thought the policy, sugar policies ..., to solve problems song questions, disputes end point to pay attention to this. Head of the propagation and growth of their campaign, which is very good. When solving problems between the family, nothing better than his head they settle together.

- For the Hmong, after their chief, who is second most important voices in her family is her. She can change her ritual worship of the family. When the campaign to build a new cultural lifestyle in the burial, marriage ..., we need attention to her role in her family.

- In the Hmong society, the role of also see the same huge. When exposed to the Hmong society, not excluding the role of teacher, luxury, and should not only understand the issues superstitious, but need to set the characteristics of their social fabric.

Can be said, the main cohesive society in a Hmong family. It dominates the activities of the Hmong, including the development of production, organization of space residence (accommodation) ... Hmong chief for them, she her, who see the same prestigious and very important role.

Edited by admingroup - 29 May 2010 at 10:35
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Post Options Post Options   Quote admingroup Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 March 2010 at 01:04

Hmong culture in

Sheboygan, Wisconsin


hmong01.jpg (132437 bytes)

White Hmong Costume
(males with long black trousers)

The Hmong, are a minority ethnic group that live primarily in China and Southeast Asia. Between 300,000 to 600,000 Hmong live in Southeast Asian countries, such as Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar. Another approximately 8 million Hmong live in the southern provinces of China. Since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, Hmong refugees from Southeast Asia have settled in Australia, France, Canada, and the United States. The United States has the largest Hmong refugee community, with a population of more than 110,000.

The word Hmong, which means "man" in the Hmong language, is the name used by the Hmong people themselves. The Hmong are known in China as Miao and in Southeast Asia as Meo. Many Hmong dislike these terms, which they translate to mean "barbarian." During the Vietnam War, some Hmong began translating the name Hmong as "free man" to express their desire for political independence.


hmong02.jpg (144584 bytes)

White Hmong Female Costume
(with a white skirt)



Hmong in all parts of the world share a common tonal language. Each spoken syllable has a pitch, similar to a musical note, which indicates the meaning of the word. The Hmong language contains seven tones. In written form, the last letter of a word is not pronounced, but indicates the tone. For example, the syllable mi can be pronounced in different tones to produce a variety of words, such as mib (sweet), mij (noodle), mis (woman’s breast), and miv (cat). European and American missionaries developed a written form of the Hmong language in the mid-1900s. Many variations of the Hmong language have developed in widely separated local communities.


hmong03.jpg (155949 bytes)

White Hmong Costumes


Within Hmong society, subgroups speak slightly different versions of the Hmong language. The largest subgroups are White Hmong, Red Hmong, Blue or Green Hmong, and Striped Hmong. A traditional Hmong story tells how these subgroups originated from a strategy devised by a Chinese emperor to divide the Hmong people. The emperor ordered Hmong villages to adopt different styles of dress, hoping that over time they would begin to think of themselves as different peoples. Although the Hmong never lost their shared cultural identity, subgroups did develop small differences in language and in customs, such as weddings and funeral ceremonies.

Today the women of each subgroup wear distinctive traditional clothing. White Hmong women wear plain, white skirts. The skirts of Blue or Green Hmong women are highly decorated with needlework. Striped Hmong women wear shirts with blue and black stripes encircling their long sleeves. Differences in men’s clothing are less notable. The traditional Hmong men’s costume consists of a black tunic and black wide-legged trousers. However, many Hmong men have now adopted Western clothing styles. Prior to the 20th century, Asian Hmong women made most of the clothing for their families from hemp. They made their own dyes from vegetables and other plants and learned numerous needlework techniques to create paj ntaub (flower cloth).

Clans, which consist of extended family members, also play an important role in Hmong society. Hmong custom forbids members of the same clan from marrying each other. A Hmong bride joins the clan of her husband. Marriage is seen as the union of two families, and clan leaders usually negotiate marriage contracts between the families.

hmong04.jpg (134011 bytes)

Striped Hmong Costume
(striped sleeves with back flap on headwear)


Hmong spiritual beliefs combine ancestor worship and animism, the belief that all things have spirits. Hmong women decorate clothes with embroidered symbols and patterns to attract friendly spirits and ward off unfriendly ones. Shamans serve as spiritual advisors and healers. They erect altars in homes and place shrines in fields and along trails. Shamans also perform ceremonies and prescribe remedies for some illnesses, which are thought to be caused by evil spirits.

In the early 1900s, Christian missionaries began visiting Hmong villages throughout China and Southeast Asia. Although they studied Hmong culture and developed the written form of the Hmong language, these missionaries made few converts. However, since the Vietnam War, a substantial number of Hmong living in refugee camps and the United States have converted to Christianity.

hmong05.jpg (131740 bytes)

Green Hmong Costume
(Very colorful skirts)


In China and Southeast Asia, Hmong practice swidden agriculture, a farming method that involves cutting and burning a forested area to clear fields for crops. Hmong farmers plant rice, corn, cucumbers, melons, yams, eggplant, onions, beans, sugarcane, and various herbs and spices. Men and boys hunt to bring in extra food. Village blacksmiths make all the necessary tools.


hmong06.jpg (141082 bytes)

Green Hmong Costumes
(males have pantaloon trousers with distinctive head wear)


Most scholars believe the Hmong migrated to southeastern China from central Asia approximately 5000 years ago. In the early 1800s, thousands of Hmong left China and settled high in the mountains of Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), and Thailand. In 1893 many of these Hmong settlements were incorporated into French Indochina, a French colony encompassing Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. With French encouragement, many Hmong turned to opium cultivation during World War II (1939-1945). When Japan invaded French Indochina in 1940, Hmong militias, under the leadership of Toby Ly Foung, aided the French. After the Japanese surrender in 1945, the Viet Minh, a Vietnamese nationalist group, resisted the restoration of French rule in Vietnam. Some Hmong sided with the French and others joined the nationalist forces. On May 8, 1954, the Viet Minh overwhelmed the French army in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu.

Following the French defeat, negotiations held in Geneva, Switzerland, resulted in the division of Vietnam into northern and southern zones. The United States gradually entered the conflict as allies of the new South Vietnamese government. In North Vietnam, the Viet Minh set up a Communist regime and attempted to reunify the country. As the Vietnam War erupted and spread into neighboring Laos, agents of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) recruited Hmong to fight against the Communists. Under the leadership of Vang Pao, a Hmong officer in the Lao military, the Hmong waged guerrilla warfare against the Communists in Laos and Vietnam from 1961 to 1975. Hmong soldiers monitored and attacked enemy supply lines, rescued downed American pilots, and ambushed Communist soldiers. They also guarded radar installations in northern Laos used to guide American bombers over Laos and North Vietnam. At the war’s peak, Vang Pao commanded a force of nearly 30,000 men. The whole operation remained secret because it violated an agreement guaranteeing the neutrality of Laos that was signed by the United States and 13 other countries in 1961.

In 1975 the United States withdrew its forces from all of Southeast Asia. Hundreds of thousands of Hmong, fearing revenge from the victorious Communist governments of Vietnam and Laos, fled to Thailand. There, Hmong families crowded into crude refugee camps, often without adequate supplies of food and water. Although the United Nations (UN) and international relief agencies brought supplies and services to the camps, many refugees died from disease in the first few years.

hmong09.jpg (127111 bytes)

Vietnamese Hmong Costumes


Between 1975 and 1994, more than 110,000 Hmong refugees resettled in the United States. Churches, nonprofit agencies, and families in at least 32 states sponsored refugees. Sponsors oriented the Hmong to their new communities, helped them to find homes, and provided financial assistance. The U.S. Department of State tried to spread the refugees out across the country to minimize the impact on any one region. However, once within the United States, Hmong families relocated to reunite their families and clans. The largest Hmong-American populations now reside in California, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Because Hmong tend to have large families, these communities have grown rapidly.

Hmong families have faced considerable challenges in adapting to American life. Lack of English language fluency, education, and job skills have forced many to rely on public assistance. Some have successfully started small businesses, such as grocery stores and restaurants. Hmong women have earned money selling their colorful needlework. Many young Hmong-Americans, raised in the United States, have enjoyed greater success in the job market than their immigrant parents.

Like other immigrant groups, the Hmong have formed self-help associations in their communities. Lao Family Community, Inc. and Hmong Mutual Assistance Associations help new arrivals make the transition to American life. They offer translation and interpretation services, language and cultural orientation classes, food pantries, and housing and employment programs. These organizations also serve as community centers, offering opportunities for the surrounding non-Hmong population to learn about the Hmong. They offer frequent workshops and sponsor annual New Year festivals that are open to the general public.

Text Contributed By: Timothy M. Pfaff for Microsoft ENCARTA

hmong08.jpg (127820 bytes)

Thailand Hmong Costumes

Edited by admingroup - 21 March 2010 at 01:12
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