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Hmong Culture Presentation

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Majorie Yang

on 17 December 2013

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Transcript of Hmong Culture Presentation

The 18 Hmong Clans
Traditional Traditions, Culture/Customs, Structure, Symbols
Exercises practiced over a long period of time.
Developed behavior patterns, beliefs, arts, and way of life of a particular group of people.
Each Clan has a leader who is responsible
to help negotiate conflicts and occasionally the maintenance of religious rituals.
The Chart
To be part of a Clan it must be inherited by
birth or adoption.
Members of the same clan consider each other to be kwv tij, as in "brothers" or "siblings," (usually on the father's side) and they are expected to offer one another mutual support when needed.
Sometimes you don't need to be from the same clan to be considered "kwv tij".
EX: Weddings, Gatherings, Hmong New Years, etc.
Some basic traditions that have been passed
from generation to generation are the gender
roles of the Hmong People.
Clan leaders are chosen by the family
clan to help lead or represent them
(the position is not inherited).
A Hmong man or women must marry
outside of the Clan.
Some basic traditions are...
Hmong New Year
Annual event held at a certain location ever year around the same time of the year in the U.S.

EX: Madison Hmong New Year is always held in the Exhibition Hall next to the Alliant Energy Center in Madison the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Traditional singing, dancing, food, and clothing being sold.
Each year a new "president" is chosen to run the New Year with their committee. The planning of the New Year is a long process that beings months ahead of time.
It is a great way to get connected to the old traditions while wearing extravagant traditional clothing
Ball tossing ("pov pob") is an old traditional activity for adolescence where a boy and girl from different clans throw a ball to one another. If one was to drop the ball they will have to give an ornament to the other person. The ornaments are recovered by the individual singing a long song to the other person.
Hmong New Year: (Previously)
A celebration is to acknowledge the completion of the rice-harvesting season--A new year and so a new life can begin as the cycle of life continues.

Every "wandering" soul of every family member is also called back to unite with the family again and the young will honor the old or the in-laws—a ritual of asking for blessings from elders of the house and clan as well as the in-laws of other clans.

The spirits of wealth and house spirits are also honored.
Hmong New Year: (Now)
“The Hmong New Year celebration is an event that helps maintain our social structure for the elders, preserves our ethnic identity and cultural practices for our children,” said Yang, coordinator of the event. “Even though I grew up in the States and I’m more Americanized than Hmong, I still feel the connection with the Hmong community and feel a part of that.” -Lee Yang

Also connecting with family and friends and building memories and bonds with one another.


A celebration
EX: Sewing, funeral roles, cooking, dancing, etc.
There are 18 Hmong Clans and different regions where the Hmong people are from, creating slightly different dialog from region to region.
The "clan system" provides the basic form of social and political organization for Hmong society. The leaders of the Clans are always males for they are seen as the dominant in a family as well as someone who holds an important position and role in society.
Traditional Weddings
Shaman/Spiritual Beliefs
Traditional Gender Roles
Story cloth
Traditional Hmong Dress
Traditional Hmong Clothes
Hmong Instruments
Usually occur after the young girl/woman has been "kidnapped" by the man and brought to his home. There she must stay for up to 3 days or more. After this the man's family will contact the girl's family and the wedding preparations will begin. Between the soon-to-be-united-families, negotiators are chosen to represent the two families. On a date chosen by the two families, the negotiators will talk over a price for the bride. Western currency is, in a way, a "gift" to the parents because of their role of successfully raising their daughter into a woman.
The traditional wedding takes up to usually two days. The wedding itself takes place at the bride's home where later she will be taken to the groom's home afterwords. There are specific men who are involved in the wedding ceremony who are acknowledged and given small compensation for their position during the wedding.
Works Cited
Dana, Annette Federico.(1993).Courtship and Marriage Traditions of the Hmong.Master Thesis,California State University, Fresno
Leepalao, Tougeu. 2013. Personal Interview.
Moua, Xong. (2001).Hmong Clan Leaders’ Role and Responsibilities.
Master Thesis, California State University, Fresno
Mouavangsou, Choua.(2010)Traditional Hmong Marriage Ceremony Values. Lima, OH:Wyndham Hall Press
The first Hmong New Year in Madison was said to begin around 1985
18 Clans
18 Clan Leaders
Hmong Families
Paj Ntaub
"flower cloth."
Sewing Paj Ntaub is a skill passed down from generation to generation from mother to daughter.

Since fabric was always available to the Hmong people their stories, folklore, and the Hmong history were always told through textile art.

There are lots of symbolic patterns used in paj ntaub and bright colors are very popular to be used as well. Many of the patterns used are usually deriving from nature.

Threads of Life
Agriculture plays a very important role in the Hmong culture. The Hmong people lived in rugged mountains and on the rough top soil where it is difficult to crow crops. Constant farming, using ox's and variety of harvesting tools, was needed to create a soft layer of dirt for their crops to grow in.
Once seeds were planted and the plants were flourishing the Hmong families needed lots of hands to help harvest their crops. This is one reason why Hmong families in Laos and Thailand had large families, so they could help them harvest their crops in a larger amount. Some of their crop were also needed to help feed other life stock.
Symbolic Meanings:
Flower and Peacock Eyes
Elephant foot: symbolizes family
Bird Wings
Snail with Filler Triangle Seeds
Borders: Mountains, Spiderwebs,
Mustard Green Flowers
Star with Seeds Inside
Tiger face
Rooster combs
Old People's Design
"18 Clans." 18 Clans. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.
PUNZEL, DENNIS. "Hmong New Year Celebration Highlights Tradition, Culture." Madison.com. N.p., 30 Nov. 2013. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.
http://host.madison.com/news/local/hmong-new-year-celebration-highlights-tradition-culture/ article_7b868578-a16d-5d4f-a830-d7b7cdaff27f.html
Lee, Bow. "The Threads of Life." The Threads of Life. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.
Basic idea of the Hmong Population in the United States alone.
The traditional Hmong people believe in spirits and the spirit world. Shaman are special men and women who can communicate with the spirits in spiritual ceremonies. They use special tools such as the drum and bull horns and animals such as the chicken and pig when the shaman is calling for the individual's wandering spirit to return to it's original place.

Shamans diagnose and treat spiritual illnesses, which affect both the mental and physical health of people.
Chang, Chue, Cheng, Fang,
Her, Hang, Khang, Kong, Kue,
Lee, Lao, Moua, Pha, Thao,
Vang, Vue, Xiong, Yang
Hmong males are typically the more dominant one in a Hmong family. Males in every culture are labeled the dominant one in families because they are to provide food and shelter for their wives since they cannot give birth. In Hmong culture, the women would stay home and watch children as the men would go do more physically daunting tasks. Another important fact is that an individual male and his family's reputation are based on what he does. Almost like in every culture, the reputation of the man is very important when it comes to community activities and gatherings. The value of the Hmong man may or may not be his reputation.
Men roles
Women Roles
Full transcript