There is nor doubt that the term Miao as is used in China and abroad designates a specific, although large set of ethnic groups, all from the same linguistic family from which the Hmong of the Indochina Peninsula originate and to which they are intimately related" (Jean Michaud.- From Southwest China into Upper Indochina: an overview of Hmong (Miao) migrations)
Articles in Ethnic China
Casas.- Vang Pao,
the Hmong, and the "Secret War" in Laos
Hmong continue to believe in the efficacy, and commission the practice
by shamans of, some of the more important traditional rituals, such as
marriage rites (kab tshoob kev kos), "soul calling" (hu plig),
healing rites (ua neeb or khaw koob), worshipping the "house spirit"
(teev xwm kab), and funeral rites (kev ploj tuag).
F. Clarkin.- Hmong
Resettlement in French Guiana. Hmong Studies Journal, Volume 6.
Within the Hmong refugee diaspora, the Hmong of French Guiana are fairly unique in that many have achieved economic autonomy through market farming while also residing in rural, ethnically homogeneous villages that help to preserve cultural and linguistic traditions
John Duffy, Roger Harmon, Donald A. Ranard, Bo Thao, and Kou Yang.- The Hmong
is intended primarily for service providers who will be assisting the
refugees in their communities in the United States. But others may find
it useful, too. Teachers may use it to educate students about a people
whose modern history is closely intertwined with Americas.
Myth of Sonom, the Hmong King
paper discusses the inaccurate designation of Sonom, an important figure
in 18th century Chinese history as a Hmong king.
Death is the most important ritual time for the Hmong. Traditionally, an elaborate three day ceremony took place, with further ritual conducted 13 days and again one year after death.
During the Hmong funeral ceremony, detailed instructions for the journey to the world of the ancestors are sung and played to the soul of the deceased. The free-reed mouth organ, or qeej, encrypts lengthy sung poems in its seven musical notes, creating a disguised language that can only be understood by the dead. This paper presents a first and complete version of the funeral poems of the qeej, performed by Mr. Xeem Thoj, a White Hmong ritual expert and qeej player from Laos who resettled in Australia in 1991.
This paper will describe how the text affects its own telling at a specific moment in the death rites of the Hmong people, drawing chronologically on seven accounts dating from the 1890s to 1992
Hao Huang and Bussakorn Sumronthong.- Speaking with spirits: the Hmong Ntoo Xeeb New Year ceremony.
Currently, Hmong New Year celebrations in northern Thailand no longer coincide with the lunar calendar, but have been adapted to fit the Western calendar; also celebrations are not limited to three days, but take place during an entire week.
K. He.- Hmong Cosmology:
Proposed Model, Preliminary Insights
will show that the Hmong cosmos consists of three separate realms and
that these are connected together by the cycle of the human soul.
paper examines two basic issues that have been of major concern to the
Hmong in the diaspora:. What is their historical and geographic origin;
and are the Hmong part of the Miao nationality in China, and should they
accept being known under this generic name?
There is no easy answer to the question of what constitutes the cultural identity of a person or human group.
Coined only in the last twenty years, the phrase "Hmong means free" has been thoughtlessly promoted by both Hmong and non-Hmong alike.
Prasit Leepreecha.- The Construction and Reproduction of Hmong Ethnic Identity in China
have attempted a basic ethnography on the construction of Hmong ethnic
identity by exploring their myths, legends, rituals, songs and proverbs.
Because the Hmong have no written language to record the past, these forms
of culture have been constructed and reproduced instead from generation
Lemoine.- What is
the actual number of the (H)mong in the world?
Jacques Lemoine.- To Tell the Truth
I have the feeling that it is the duty of a scholar of my generation to see that (H)mong studies avoid the political and scholastic fantasies of the time, and keep progressing in the only right direction: scientific knowledge.
Groups of Hmong swiddeners were seen migrating during the late 19th and early 20th centuries... Who were they? What was their history before these migrations?
Hmong Qeej: Speaking to the Spirit World
An interesting depiction of the basic facts about Hmong religion and beliefs, and the main components of their shamanic trance.
Nothing in this world can rip people apart... like religion. Nothing in this world can unite people... like religion. People have poured out their most intense animosities... for their religion. People have found extraordinary strength to forgive and care... in their religion. Religion releases our most extreme and deepest emotions
Vayong Moua.- The Hmong Religious Experience
This paper is more than an academic exploration about change in our culture! This is a call among our people to re-evaluate our values. This is a plea to reconcile and respect differences to halt the manifestation of further conflict. This is an order to expand our paradigms (without surrendering who we are) and listen to one another. Change is imminent...peace is not!
Helda Pinzon-Perez, Neng Moua, Miguel A. Perez.- Understanding Satisfaction with Shamanic Practices among the Hmong in Rural California.
The purpose of this study was to determine the difference in the levels of satisfaction among Hmong clients who use shamans and their services in Fresno County with regard to factors associated with animal sacrifice, gender of the shaman and the practices inside or outside of the clients home.
Louisa Schein.- The Dynamics of Cultural Revival Among the Miao in Guizhou
Revival is constituted by the convergence of two processes: (1) an unselfconscious resurgence of cultural practice among local people and (2) a deliberate promotion of such practices by state organs.
BUSSAKORN SUMRONGTHONG.- Speaking with Spirits: The Hmong Ntoo Xeeb New Year Ceremony. Asian FolkloreStudies, Volume 63, 2004: 31-55
Ntoo Xeeb ceremony is a principal New Year's ritual in which all responsible
male heads of households in the village are expected to participate. This
is a way of showing respect to all four benevolent spirits of the locality,
with the Ntoo Xeeb spirit as the titular head, and to thank them for safeguarding
the villagers over the past year. It constitutes one of the most sacred
communal rituals undertaken by the villagers of Mae Sa Mai
Weihua Tan.- Miao Drum Culture and Its Social Function
The Miao drum, as a specific cultural symbol, possesses great ethnocultural significance and it serves an important social function complementary to Miao peoples customs of production, livelihoods, beliefs, rituals and festival celebrations.
Accommodations in Southwest China. The "Han Miao" and Problems
in the Ethnography of the Hmong.
But there are a number of ethnographic puzzles here which I was reminded of on my visit earlier this year.
Nicholas Tapp.- Hmong Religion.
The Hmong are pantheists, believing in a variety of natural and supernatural spiritual forces living in and animating all things. The Hmong is inhabited by a variety of natural, ancestral, and supernatural spirits or gods.
study aims to describe the importance of the oral tradition of the sacred
instrument Qeej to Mong culture. It is an attempt to help preserve Mong
oral traditions and facilitate the continuing practice of traditional
funeral rites, in which the Qeej plays a central role by guiding the soul
of the deceased to the realm of the ancestors.
Thao, Mai Koua.- Hmong Displacement in Asia up to 1975
The Hmong are an ethnic minority that have been persecuted since ancient times. They were stubborn montagnards who refused to succumb to Chinese civilization. Chinese history begins mentioning them around 2500 BC, though their presence in China dates as far back as 3000 BC. Wherever they settled, they fell victim to discrimination and political abuse.
Thao and Chimeng Yang.- The
Mong and the Hmong
The authors will shed light on the Mong and the Hmong, so that the Mong themselves, the general public, and service providers will have a true picture of the Mong people.
the context of economic renovation, Vietnam has transferred land-use rights
form state and cooperative units under central planning to individual,
community and other entities. Despite remarkable success in the lowland
agriculture, the advancement in the uplands stays behind expectation.
Xee Vang.- The Hmong Language.
For many centuries, the Hmong language was firmly an oral type of communication. There was no alphabet system, no written texts, and no cultural activation to need a literacy system.
Kenneth White.- Kr'ua Ke (Showing the way) A Hmong Initiation of the Dead.
Death is often thought of as a journey. For the Hmong it is seen as a journey to the sources of life. In order to prepare the dead to face this great mystery, it is necessary to give them an explanation of the Creation and its antithesis : Death.
in France: Assimilation and Adaptation
Kao-Ly Yang.- The Meeting with Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy. A Case Study of Syncretism in the Hmong System of Beliefs. Hmong Studies Journal, Volume 7
The purpose of this case study is to shed light on the identity of the spirit of fertility called Lady Kaying -Niam Nkauj Kab Yeeb-, its religious origin and the general processes of borrowing her from other cultures within the Hmong culture.
This paper consists of personal research notes collected by a Hmong-American scholar during a 2004 visit to Miao communities in China. The author provides his personal observations related to conditions in Miao villages and cultural and social exchanges between Hmong-Americans and Miao.
The origin of the Miao people is still an unsolved problem. For the past five thousands years, the sequences are rather clear, partly because the Chinese historical Annals. There are also rich historical legends among Miao people's culture.
Philippe Klein.- Le messianisme hmong
miao/Hmong acéphale a été toujours confrontée
à des Etats qui par leurs puissances ont tenté de lannihiler.
et vérités" : l'orientalisme à travers les écrits
sur les Miao-Hmong.
Barbara Niederer.- La langue Hmong
La langue Hmong est parlé par environ 2,5 millions de personnes.
Augustus Badenoch.- Social
Networks in Natural Resource Governance in a Multi-Ethnic Watershed of
Scott Andrew Downman.- Intra-Ethnic Conflict and the Hmong in Australia and Thailand
Evellyn Lee.- Hmong
Women Issues: Identity and Mental Health
of the main goals was to examine associations among mental health,
Moua, Teng.- The Hmong Culture: Kinship, Marriage and Family Systems. 2003
The purpose of this study is to describe the traditional Hmong kinship, marriage and family systems in the format of narrative from the writer¡¯s experiences, a thorough review of the existing literature written about the Hmong culture in these three categories,
Nicholas Frederick Poss.- The communication of verbal content of the Hmong Raj: An ethnographic analysis of performance practice.
Hmong-American community continue the practice of communicating verbal content on a variety of instruments, including raj, a family of aerophones...multiples levels of communication in raj performances are investigated.
Dengnoi Reineke.- The Lao State and Hmong Relationship
displaced by opium eradication programs which are heavily supported by
the international community, the Hmong have found themselves aimlessly
wandering into the cities of Laos. Their poverty and presence are prominent
in make-shift tin shacks illegally scattered all over on government land.
Wong, Chau Ying.- Participation and Empowerment: An Ethnography of Miao women in rural China. Hong Kong, 2003
Books and references
Free books about the Miao
This book contains 41 illustrations, with texts on the left and illustrations on the right. The painting is meticulous, the engraving and drawing lively, the people lifelike, and the colors rich, retaining their freshness after more than 200 years. The illustrations show that in the region depicted, the Miao, Lao, and Han Chinese lived in mixed communities and had customs that were quite different from those in other places in China. The illustrations, organized by category, give a picture of the area and the people's way of life in a single album.
The Miao in 1834 - The most troublesome of the latter order (talking about minor insurrections) have been occasioned by the Miao and other tribes lodged among the mountains in the very heart of the empire.
The Miao in The Middle kingdom: a survey of the geography, government...: A Chinese traveller among the Miao says that some of them live in huts constructed upon the branches of trees, others in mud hovels. Their agriculture is rude, and their garments are obtained by barter from the lowlanders in exchange for metals and grain, or woven by themselves.
The Gathering of the Miao Clans. At the gathering of the Black Clan, March, 1894, there were about four hundred youths and maidens. This gathering is held annually and at the same place for three years. Their embroideries seem to be about the richest.
Miao March festival in 1894 - At a given signal the lads played a few bars, and then waving their flutes in unison, each little group moved sideways on a few steps, the lassies taking the lead until they stopped, when the lads would play another few bars and then the group moved again.
The Miao in Hosie's Three Years in Western China: The following pages are intended to present a picture of Western China as the writer saw it in 1882, 1883, and 1884.
The Miao in Hosie's On the Trail of the Opium Poppy. This country was and, after the lapse of 50 years, still is the home of the Hei Miao-tzu (" Black Miaotzu"). Ruined stone guard-houses and refuges on hilltops, evidences of the struggle between extortion and docility, between might against right, are to be seen on all sides
The Miao in Bentley's Miscellany: Yongzheng boasted to have conquered them, but the extent of his conquest is to be doubted, from the admitted fact of his never having been able to make them consent to adopt the Tartar tail.
If the Miao have no written records, they have many legends in verse, which they learn to repeat and sing. These are composed in lines of five syllables, in stanzas of unequal length, one interrogative and one responsive. They are sung or recited by two persons or two groups at feasts and festivals, often by a group of youths and a group of maidens.
Bibliography of the Miao
Ethnic China photo exhibitions
All days are Festivals among the Miao - Due to the development of the tourism in Langde and other Miao villages, some young girls have gave up the agriculture activities, and wearing their best dresses, gather every day in the main square to sing and dance for the tourists groups.
Documentary Films about the Miao
The Miao Wedding
- Zhang Zhihua: This short documentary film shows the
different ceremonies of a wedding among the Ah-Mao people living in Yilang
County, near Kunming.
dvds and vcds about the Miao
The Miao in the art: The Miao are a favorite theme of many Chinese artists in search of the exoticism of the life of the Chinese Minorities. There are hundreds of painters that depicted in some moment of his career the life and costumes of the Miao women.
The paintings of Zhao Chun: searching for the goddess in the Miao women - A Chinese artist whose late works depict all the mythic magic of the Miao women
Travel to Miao lands