Arts and Humanities Curricula through Technology

Other Examples of Hmong Story Cloths


Title of icon: Untitled
Artist(s): attributed to unnamed relative of Neng Vang Yang
Genre(s): visual arts
Medium/media: textile, paj ntaub dab neej (flower cloth of people and customs)
Material(s): cotton/polyester fabric; cotton embroidery floss
Technique(s): embroidery, piecework
Dimensions: 56" w. x 61" h.
Date made: c. 1980-85
Where made: Ban Vanai, Thailand
In whose collection: Private collection
Collection#(s):
Photograph of work by: Instructional Media Services
Rights to photograph courtesy of: Michigan State University Museum

This story cloth shows scenes from the following episodes in Hmong history of the late 1970s. When their villages in Laos were bombed by the Pathet-Lao government backed soldiers, Hmong fled, either by main roads or through the jungle. The routes were dangerous and many Hmong died from hunger, were killed or taken prisoner en route. Those who were able to cross the Mekong River were guided by Thai soldiers to refugee camps in Thailand. Those who were accepted for immigration to other countries were taken to Bangkok in buses.


Title of icon: Untitled
Artist(s): maker unknown
Genre(s): visual arts
Medium/media: textile, paj ntaub dab neej (flower cloth of people and customs)
Material(s): cotton/polyester fabric; cotton embroidery floss
Technique(s): embroidery, piecework
Dimensions: 28-3/4" w. x 31-1/2" h.
Date made: c. 1980-85
Where made: Ban Vanai, Thailand
In whose collection: Michigan State University Museum
Collection#(s): MSUM 5842.37.1
Photograph of work by: Instructional Media Services
Rights to photograph courtesy of: Michigan State University Museum

At the top of this story cloth are the words "The old year will pass away and the new will be here" is written along the top left-hand edge of this cloth. At the top right a group of Hmong circle around and under a garland strung from a tree and pole. Hmong believe that a circle made three times in one direction chases out the old spirits of the old year. They then reverse direction and walk under the garland three times in the other direction to welcome in the spirits of the new year. This practice continues in Lansing, Michigan at the annual New Year's parties in the Hmong community. In the bottom left-hand corner, three young men play a game with a top.



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