This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page . (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|14 to 15 million|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Buddhism, Christianity, Shamanism|
The Hmong people (RPA: Hmoob/Moob, Hmong pronunciation: [m̥ɔ̃ŋ] ) are an ethnic group in East and Southeast Asia. They are a sub-group of the Miao people, and live mainly in Southern China, Vietnam and Laos. The Hmong People have been members of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) since 2007.
The Romanized Popular Alphabet (RPA) or Hmong RPA, is a system of romanization for the various dialects of the Hmong language. Created in Laos between 1951 and 1953 by a group of missionaries and Hmong advisers, it has gone on to become the most widespread system for writing the Hmong language in the West. It is also used in Southeast Asia and China alongside other writing systems, most notably Nyiakeng Puachue Hmong and Pahawh Hmong.
An ethnic group, or an ethnicity, is a category of people who identify with each other based on similarities such as common ancestry, language, history, society, culture or nation. Ethnicity is usually an inherited status based on the society in which one lives. Membership of an ethnic group tends to be defined by a shared cultural heritage, ancestry, origin myth, history, homeland, language or dialect, symbolic systems such as religion, mythology and ritual, cuisine, dressing style, art or physical appearance.
The Hmong (Miao) claim an origin in the Yellow River region of China.According to linguist Martha Ratliff, there is linguistic evidence to suggest that they have occupied some of the same areas of southern China for over 5,000 years. Evidence from mitochondrial DNA in Hmong–Mien–speaking populations supports the southern origins of maternal lineages even further back in time, although it has been shown that Hmong-speaking populations had comparatively more contact with northern East Asians than had the Mien.
The Yellow River or Huang He is the second longest river in China, after the Yangtze River, and the sixth longest river system in the world at the estimated length of 5,464 km (3,395 mi). Originating in the Bayan Har Mountains in Qinghai province of Western China, it flows through nine provinces, and it empties into the Bohai Sea near the city of Dongying in Shandong province. The Yellow River basin has an east–west extent of about 1,900 kilometers (1,180 mi) and a north–south extent of about 1,100 km (680 mi). Its total drainage area is about 752,546 square kilometers (290,560 sq mi).
China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.
Martha Ratliff is an American linguist and Professor Emerita at Wayne State University. She is a leading specialist in Hmong–Mien languages and also notable for her recent reconstruction of the Proto-Hmong–Mien language.
The ancient town of Zhuolu is considered to be the birthplace of the widely proclaimed legendary Hmong king, Chi You. Today, a statue of Chi You has been erected in the town.The author of the Guoyu, authored in the 4th to 5th century, considered Chi You’s Jui Li tribe to be related to the ancient ancestors of the Hmong, the San-Miao people.
Zhuolu is a town and the county seat of Zhuolu County, northwestern Hebei province, Northern China. It has an area of 77.21 square kilometres (29.81 sq mi) and a population of 57,400 as of 2002, and is made up of 6 communities and 30 villages. It is located 52 kilometres (32 mi) southeast of Zhangjiakou
The Guoyu, usually translated Discourses of the States, is an ancient Chinese text that consists of a collection of speeches attributed to rulers and other men from the Spring and Autumn period (771–476 BC). It comprises a total of 240 speeches, ranging from the reign of King Mu of Zhou to the execution of the Jin minister Zhibo in 453 BC. Its author is unknown, but it is sometimes attributed to Zuo Qiuming, a contemporary of Confucius. Guoyu was probably compiled beginning in the 5th century BC and continuing to the late 4th century BC. The earliest chapter of the compilation is the Discourses of Zhou.
In 2011, White Hmong DNA was sampled and found to contain 7.84% D-M15 and 6%N(Tat) DNA.The researchers posited a genetic relationship between Hmong-Mien peoples and Mon-Khmer people groups dating to the Last Glacial Maximum approximately 15-18,000 years ago.
Haplogroup D-M15, also known as D1a1 is a Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup. Haplogroup D-M15 is a descendant branch of the greater Haplogroup D-M174.
The Austroasiatic languages, also known as Mon–Khmer, are a large language family of Mainland Southeast Asia, also scattered throughout India, Bangladesh, Nepal and the southern border of China, with around 117 million speakers. The name Austroasiatic comes from a combination of the Latin words for "South" and "Asia", hence "South Asia". Of these languages, only Vietnamese, Khmer, and Mon have a long-established recorded history, and only Vietnamese and Khmer have official status as modern national languages. In Myanmar, the Wa language is the de facto official language of Wa State. Santali is recognized as a regional language of India. The rest of the languages are spoken by minority groups and have no official status.
The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) was the most recent time during the Last Glacial Period when ice sheets were at their greatest extent. Vast ice sheets covered much of North America, northern Europe, and Asia. The ice sheets profoundly affected Earth's climate by causing drought, desertification, and a large drop in sea levels. The ice sheets reached their maximum coverage about 26,500 years ago. Deglaciation commenced in the Northern Hemisphere at approximately 20 ka and in Antarctica approximately at 14.5 ka, consistent with evidence for an abrupt rise in the sea level at about 14.5 ka.
Conflict between the Hmong of southern China and newly arrived Han settlers increased during the 18th century under repressive economic and cultural reforms imposed by the Qing Dynasty. This led to armed conflict and large-scale migrations well into the late 19th century, the period during which many Hmong people emigrated to Southeast Asia. The migration process had begun as early as the late-17th century, however, before the time of major social unrest, when small groups went in search of better agricultural opportunities.
The Hmong people were subjected to abuse and killing by the Qing Dynasty government. Kim Lacy Rogers wrote: "In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, while the Hmong lived in south-western China, their Manchu overlords had labeled them 'Miao' ('barbarian' or 'savage') and targeted them for genocide when they defied being humiliated, oppressed, and enslaved."
The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing, was the last imperial dynasty of China. It was established in 1636, and ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912. It was preceded by the Ming dynasty and succeeded by the Republic of China. The Qing multi-cultural empire lasted for almost three centuries and formed the territorial base for modern China. It was the fifth largest empire in world history. The dynasty was founded by the Manchu Aisin Gioro clan in Manchuria. In the late sixteenth century, Nurhaci, originally a Ming Jianzhou Guard vassal, began organizing "Banners", military-social units that included Manchu, Han, and Mongol elements. Nurhaci formed the Manchu clans into a unified entity. By 1636, his son Hong Taiji began driving Ming forces out of the Liaodong Peninsula and declared a new dynasty, the Qing.
The Manchu are an ethnic minority in China and the people from whom Manchuria derives its name. They are sometimes called "red-tasseled Manchus", a reference to the ornamentation on traditional Manchu hats. The Later Jin (1616–1636), and Qing dynasty (1636–1912) were established and ruled by Manchus, who are descended from the Jurchen people who earlier established the Jin dynasty (1115–1234) in China.
The Miao is an ethnic group belonging to South China, and is recognized by the government of China as one of the 55 official minority groups. Miao is a Chinese term and does not reflect the self-designations of the component groups of people, which include Hmong, Hmub, Xong (Qo-Xiong), and A-Hmao.
Since 1949, Miao has been an official term for one of the 55 official minority groups recognized by the government of the People's Republic of China. The Miao live mainly in southern China, in the provinces of Guizhou, Hunan, Yunnan, Sichuan, Guangxi, Hainan, Guangdong, and Hubei. According to the 2000 censuses, the number of 'Miao' in China was estimated to be about 9.6 million. The Miao nationality includes Hmong people as well as other culturally and linguistically related ethnic groups who do not call themselves Hmong. These include the Hmu, Kho (Qho) Xiong, and A Hmao. The White Miao (Bai Miao) and Green Miao (Qing Miao) are Hmong groups.
A number of Miao lineage clans are also believed to have been founded by Chinese men who had married Miao women. These distinct Chinese-descended clans practice Chinese burial customs instead of Hmong style burials. [ citation needed ] The Hmong were instructed in military tactics by fugitive Chinese rebels.In Sichuan, they were known as "Chinese Hmong" ("Hmong Sua").
Chinese men who had married into Hmong clans have established several Hmong clans. Chinese "surname groups" are comparable to the Hmong clans which are patrilineal, and practice exogamy.Hmong women married Han Chinese men who pacified the Ah rebels who were fighting against the Ming dynasty, and founded the Wang clan among the Hmong in Gongxian county, of Sichuan's Yibin district. Hmong women who married Chinese men founded a Xem clan in a Hmong village among Northern Thailand's Hmong. Lauj clan in Northern Thailand is another example of a clan created through Han and Hmong intermarriage. A Han Chinese with the family name of Deng found another Hmong clan there as well.
Jiangxi Han Chinese have held a claim as the forefathers of the southeast Guizhou Miao. Children were born to the many Miao women who had married Han Chinese soldiers in Taijiang before the second half of the 19th century.The Hmong Tian clan in Sizhou began in the seventh century as a migrant Han Chinese clan.
Non-Han women such as the Miao became wives of Han soldiers. These soldiers fought against the Miao rebellions during the Qing and Ming dynasties and at that time Han women were not available.The origin of the Tunbao people can be traced to the Ming dynasty, when the Hongwu Emperor sent 300,000 Han Chinese male soldiers in 1381 to conquer Yunnan and the men married Yao and Miao women.
The presence of women presiding over weddings was a feature noted in "Southeast Asian" marriages, such as in 1667 when a Miao woman in Yunnan married a Chinese official.In Yunnan, a Miao chief's daughter married a scholar in the 1600s who wrote that she could read, write, and listen in Chinese and read Chinese classics.
The Sichuan Hmong village of Wangwu was visited by Nicholas Tapp who wrote that the "clan ancestral origin legend" of the Wang Hmong clan, had said that there were several intermarriages with Han Chinese and possibly one of these was their ancestor Wang Wu; there were two types of Hmong, "cooked", who sided with Chinese, and "raw", who rebelled against the Chinese. The Chinese were supported by the Wang Hmong clan.A Hmong woman was married by the non-Hmong Wang Wu according to The Story of the Ha Kings in Wangwu village.
Hmong people have their own terms for their subcultural divisions. Hmong Der and Hmong Leng are the terms for two of the largest groups in the United States and Southeast Asia. In the Romanized Popular Alphabet, developed in the 1950s in Laos, these terms are written Hmoob Dawb (White Hmong) and Hmoob Leeg (Green Hmong). The final consonants indicate with which of the eight lexical tones the word is pronounced.
White Hmong and Leng Hmong speak mutually intelligible dialects of the Hmong language, with some differences in pronunciation and vocabulary. One of the most characteristic differences is the use of the voiceless /m̥/ in White Hmong, indicated by a preceding "H" in Romanized Popular Alphabet. Voiceless nasals are not found in the Leng Hmong dialect. Hmong groups are often named after the dominant colors or patterns of their traditional clothing, style of head-dress, or the provinces from which they come.
The Hmong groups in Vietnam and Laos, from the 18th century to the present day, are known as Black Hmong (Hmoob Dub), Striped Hmong (Hmoob Txaij), White Hmong (Hmoob Dawb), Leng Hmong (Hmoob Leeg) and Green Hmong (Moob Ntsuab). In other places in Asia, groups are also known as Black Hmong (Hmoob Dub or Hmong Dou), Striped Hmong (Hmoob Txaij or Hmoob Quas Npab), Hmong Shi, Hmong Pe, Hmong Pua, and Hmong Xau, Hmong Xanh (Green Hmong), Hmong Do (Red Hmong), Na Mieo and various other subgroups.These include the Flower Hmong or the Variegated Hmong (Hmong Lenh or Hmong Hoa), so named because of their bright, colorful embroidery work (called pa ndau or paj ntaub, literally "flower cloth").
Usage of the term "Miao" in Chinese documents dates back to the Shi Ji (1st century BC) and the Zhan Guo Ce (late Western Han Dynasty). During this time, it was generally applied to people of the southern regions thought to be descendants of the San Miao kingdom (dated to around the 3rd millennium BC.) The term does not appear again until the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), by which time it had taken on the connotation of "barbarian." Being a variation of Nanman, it was used to refer to one kind of indigenous people in the southern China who had not been assimilated into Han culture. During this time, references to Unfamiliar (生 Sheng) and Familiar (熟 Shu) Miao appear, referring to level of assimilation and political cooperation of the two groups. Not until the Qing dynasty (1644–1911) do more finely grained distinctions appear in writing. Even then, discerning which ethnic groups are included in various classifications can be problematic.
This inconsistent usage of "Miao" makes it difficult to say for sure if Hmong and Mong people are always included in these historical writings. Christian Culas and Jean Michaud note: "In all these early accounts, then, until roughly the middle of the 19th century, there is perpetual confusion about the exact identity of the population groups designated by the term Miao. We should, therefore, be cautious with respect to the historical value of any early associations."
Linguistic evidence, however, places Hmong and Mong people in the same regions of southern China that they inhabit today for at least the past 2,000 years.By the mid-18th century, classifications become specific enough that it is easier to identify references to Hmong and Mong people.
The term 'Miao' is used today by the Chinese government to denote a group of linguistically and culturally related people (including the Hmong, Hmu, Kho Xiong, and A Hmao). The Hmong and Miao of China today believe they are one people with cultural and linguistic affiliations that transcend oceans and national boundaries. The educated elites of the two groups maintain close transnational contacts with one another.[ citation needed ]
In Southeast Asia, Hmong people are referred to by other names, including: Vietnamese : Mèo or H'Mông; Lao: ແມ້ວ (Maew) or ມົ້ງ (Mong); Thai: แม้ว (Maew) or ม้ง (Mong); Burmese : မုံလူမျိုး (mun lu-myo). The xenonym, "Mèo", and variants thereof, are considered highly derogatory by some Hmong people in the USA.
The examples and perspective in this section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (February 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
When Western authors came in contact with Hmong people, beginning in the 18th century, they referred to them in writing by ethnonyms assigned by the Chinese (i.e., Miao, or variants).[ citation needed ] This practice continued into the 20th century. Even ethnographers studying the Hmong people in Southeast Asia often referred to them as Meo, a corruption of Miao applied by Thai and Lao people to the Hmong. Although "Meo" was an official term, it was often used as an insult against Hmong people, and it is considered to be derogatory. [ better source needed ]
The issue came to a head during the passage of California State Assembly Bill (AB) 78, in the 2003–2004 season. [ better source needed ] Introduced by Doua Vu and Assembly Member Sarah Reyes, District 31 (Fresno), the bill encouraged changes in secondary education curriculum to include information about the Secret War and the role of Hmong people in the war. Furthermore, the bill called for the use of oral histories and first hand accounts from Hmong people who had participated in the war and who were caught up in the aftermath. Originally, the language of the bill mentioned only "Hmong" people, intending to include the entire community. A number of Mong Leng activists, led by Dr. Paoze Thao (Professor of Linguistics and Education at California State University, Monterey Bay), drew attention to the problems associated with omitting "Mong" from the language of the bill. They noted that despite nearly equal numbers of Hmong Der and Mong Leng in the United States, resources are disproportionately directed toward the Hmong Der community. This includes not only scholarly research, but also the translation of materials, potentially including curriculum proposed by the bill. Despite these arguments, "Mong" was not added to the bill. In the version that passed the assembly, "Hmong" was replaced by "Southeast Asians", a more broadly inclusive term.
Dr. Paoze Thao and some others feel strongly that "Hmong" can refer to only Hmong Der people and does not include "Mong" Leng people. He feels that the usage of "Hmong" in reference to both groups perpetuates the marginalization of Mong Leng language and culture. Thus, he advocates the usage of both "Hmong" and "Mong" when referring to the entire ethnic group. [ better source needed ] Some argue that such distinctions create unnecessary divisions within the global community and will only confuse non-Hmong and Mong people trying to learn more about Hmong and Mong history and culture.Other scholars, including anthropologist Dr. Gary Yia Lee (a Hmong Der person), suggest that "Hmong" has been used for the past 30 years to refer to the entire community and that the inclusion of Mong Leng people is understood.
As a compromise alternative, multiple iterations of "Hmong" are proposed. A HMong theologian, Rev. Dr. Paul Joseph T. Khamdy Yang has proposed the term “HMong” to encompass both the Hmong and Mong community by capitalizing the H and the M. The ethnologist Jacques Lemoine has also begun to use the term (H)mong when referring to the entirety of the Hmong and Mong community.
Some non-Chinese Hmong advocate that the term Hmong be used not only for designating their dialect group, but also for the other Miao groups living in China. They generally claim that the word "Miao" or "Meo" is a derogatory term, with connotations of barbarism, that probably should not be used at all. The term was later adapted by Tai-speaking groups in Southeast Asia where it took on especially insulting associations for Hmong people despite its official status.
In modern China, the term "Miao" does not carry these negative associations and people of the various sub-groups that constitute this officially recognized nationality freely identify themselves as Miao or Chinese, typically reserving more specific ethnonyms for intra-ethnic communication. During the struggle for political recognition after 1949, it was actually members of these ethnic minorities who campaigned for identification under the umbrella term "Miao"—taking advantage of its familiarity and associations of historical political oppression.
Contemporary transnational interactions between Hmong in the West and Miao groups in China, following the 1975 Hmong diaspora, have led to the development of a global Hmong identity that includes linguistically and culturally related minorities in China that previously had no ethnic affiliation.Scholarly and commercial exchanges, increasingly communicated via the Internet, have also resulted in an exchange of terminology, including Hmu and A Hmao people identifying as Hmong and, to a lesser extent, Hmong people accepting the designation "Miao," within the context of China. Such realignments of identity, while largely the concern of economically elite community leaders, reflect a trend towards the interchangeability of the terms "Hmong" and "Miao."
Roughly 95% of the Hmong live in Asia. Linguistic data show that the Hmong of the Peninsula stem from the Miao of southern China as one among a set of ethnic groups belonging to the Hmong–Mien language family. [ page needed ]Linguistically and culturally speaking, the Hmong and the other sub-groups of the Miao have little in common.
Vietnam, where their presence is attested from the late 18th century onwards and characterized with both assimilation and hostility, is likely to be the first Indochinese country into which the Hmong migrated.During the colonization of 'Tonkin' (north Vietnam) between 1883 and 1954, a number of Hmong decided to join the Vietnamese Nationalists and Communists, while many Christianized Hmong sided with the French. After the Viet Minh victory, numerous pro-French Hmong had to fall back to Laos and South Vietnam.
At the 2009 national census, there were 1,068,189 Hmong living in Vietnam, the vast majority of them in the north of the country. The traditional trade in coffin wood with China and the cultivation of the opium poppy – both prohibited only in 1993 in Vietnam – long guaranteed a regular cash income. Today, converting to cash cropping is the main economic activity. As in China and Laos, there is a certain degree of participation of Hmong in the local and regional administration. [ citation needed ]In the late 1990s, several thousands of Hmong started moving to the Central Highlands and some crossed the border into Cambodia, constituting the first attested presence of Hmong settlers in that country.
In 2005, the Hmong in Laos numbered 460,000. Hmong settlement there is nearly as ancient as in Vietnam. After decades of distant relations with the Lao kingdoms, closer relations between the French military and some Hmong on the Xieng Khouang plateau were set up after World War II. There, a particular rivalry between members of the Lo and Ly clans developed into open enmity, also affecting those connected with them by kinship. Clan leaders took opposite sides and as a consequence, several thousand Hmong participated in the fighting against the Pathet Lao Communists, while perhaps as many were enrolled in the People's Liberation Army. As in Vietnam, numerous Hmong in Laos also genuinely tried to avoid getting involved in the conflict in spite of the extremely difficult material conditions under which they lived during wartime.
After the 1975 Communist victory, thousands of Hmong from Laos had to seek refuge abroad (see Laos below). Approximately 30 percent of the Hmong left, although the only concrete figure we have is that of 116,000 Hmong from Laos and Vietnam together seeking refuge in Thailand up to 1990.
In 2002 the Hmong in Thailand numbered 151,080. The presence of Hmong settlements there is documented from the end of the 19th century. Initially, the Siamese paid little attention to them. But in the early 1950s, the state suddenly took a number of initiatives aimed at establishing links. Decolonization and nationalism were gaining momentum in the Peninsula and wars of independence were raging. Armed opposition to the state in northern Thailand, triggered by outside influence, started in 1967 while here again, much Hmong refused to take sides in the conflict. Communist guerrilla warfare stopped by 1982 as a result of an international concurrence of events that rendered it pointless. Priority is since given by the Thai state to sedentarizing the mountain population, introducing commercially viable agricultural techniques and national education, with the aim of integrating these non-Tai animists within the national identity. [ page needed ] [ page needed ]
Burma most likely includes a modest number of Hmong (perhaps around 2,500) but no reliable census has been conducted there recently.
As result of refugee movements in the wake of the Indochina Wars (1946–1975), in particular, in Laos, the largest Hmong community to settle outside Asia went to the United States where approximately 100,000 individuals had already arrived by 1990. By the same date, 10,000 Hmong had migrated to France, including 1,400 in French Guyana. Canada admitted 900 individuals, while another 360 went to Australia, 260 to China, and 250 to Argentina. Over the following years and until the definitive closure of the last refugee camps in Thailand in 1998, additional numbers of Hmong have left Asia, but the definitive figures are still to be produced.
In the rest of the world, where about 5% of the world Hmong population now lives, the United States is home to the largest Hmong population. The 2008 Census counted 171,316 people solely of Hmong ancestry, and 221,948 persons of at least partial Hmong ancestry.Other countries with significant populations include:
The Hmong population within the United States is centered in the Upper Midwest (Wisconsin, Minnesota) and California.
Hmong's in Vietnam today was perceived very varied between different and various political Organization. Due to the Hmong's of Vietnam are a significant small minority, their loyalty toward Vietnamese state was also under question. Nonetheless, most of Hmong's in Vietnam are fiercely loyal to Vietnamese state regardless of Governments,with only those minorities supportive of Hmong resistance in Laos and Cambodia, mostly Christian Hmong's who fell under target and poverty strike by the regime's alienation, since there had been no Hmong armed separatism in the country. The Hmong's in Vietnam also receive cultural and political promotion from the Government alike. This unique feature distanced Vietnamese Hmong's from Laotian Hmong's, whom its Laotian cousins are very hostile and strongly anti-Vietnamese. .
In the early 1960s, partially as a result of the North Vietnamese invasion of Laos the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) Special Activities Division began to recruit, train and lead the indigenous Hmong people in Laos to fight against North Vietnamese Army divisions invading Laos during the Vietnam War. This "Secret Army" was organized into various mobile regiments and divisions, including various Special Guerrilla Units, all of whom were led by General Vang Pao. An estimated sixty-percent (60%) of Hmong men in Laos joined up. [ better source needed ]
While Hmong soldiers were known to assist the North Vietnamese in many situations, Hmong soldiers were also recognized for serving in combat against the NVA and the Pathet Lao, helping block Hanoi's Ho Chi Minh trail inside Laos and rescuing downed American pilots. Though their role was generally kept secret in the early stages of the conflict, they made great sacrifices to help the U.S.
Thousands of economic and political refugee s have resettled in Western countries in two separate waves. The first wave resettled in the late 1970s, mostly in the United States, after the North Vietnamese and Pathet Lao takeovers of the pro-US governments in South Vietnam and Laos respectively. [ not in citation given ]The Lao Veterans of America, and Lao Veterans of America Institute, helped to assist in the resettlement of many Laotian and Hmong refugees and asylum seekers in the United States, especially former Hmong veterans and their family members who served in the "U.S. Secret Army" in Laos during the Vietnam War.
For many years, the Neo Hom resistance and political movement played a key role in resistance to the Vietnam People's Army in Laos following the U.S. withdrawal in 1975. Vang Pao played a significant role in this movement. Additionally, a spiritual leader Zong Zoua Her, as well as other Hmong leaders, including Pa Kao Her or Pa Khao Her, rallied some of their followers in an additional factionalized guerrilla resistance movement called ChaoFa (RPA: Club Fab, Pahawh Hmong:
Small groups of Hmong people, many of the second or third generation descendants of former CIA soldiers, remain internally displaced in remote parts of Laos, in fear of government reprisals. Faced with continuing military operations against them by the government and a scarcity of food, some groups have begun coming out of hiding, while others have sought asylum in Thailand and other countries.Hmongs in Laos, in particularly, develop a stronger and deeper anti-Vietnamese sentiment than its Vietnamese Hmong cousins, due to historic persecution caused by the Vietnamese on them.
The examples and perspective in this section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (February 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
In June 1991, after talks with the UNHCR and the Thai government, Laos agreed to the repatriation of over 60,000 Lao refugees living in Thailand, including tens of thousands of Hmong people. Very few of the Lao refugees, however, were willing to return voluntarily.Pressure to resettle the refugees grew as the Thai government worked to close its remaining refugee camps. While some Hmong people returned to Laos voluntarily, with development assistance from UNHCR, coercive measures and forced repatriation was used to send thousands of Hmong back to the communist regime they had fled. Of those Hmong who did return to Laos, some quickly escaped back to Thailand, describing discrimination and brutal treatment at the hands of Lao authorities.
In the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, The Center for Public Policy Analysis, a non-governmental public policy research organization, and its Executive Director, Philip Smith, played a key role in raising awareness in the U.S. Congress and policy making circles in Washington, D.C. about the plight of the Hmong and Laotian refugees in Thailand and Laos. The CPPA, backed by a bipartisan coalition of Members of the U.S. Congress as well as human rights organizations, conducted numerous research missions to the Hmong and Laotian refugee camps along the Mekong River in Thailand, as well as the Buddhist temple of Wat Tham Krabok.
Amnesty International, the Lao Veterans of America, Inc., the United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc., Lao Human Rights Council, Inc. (led by Dr. Pobzeb Vang Vang Pobzeb, and later Vaughn Vang) and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and human rights organizations joined the opposition to forced repatriation.
Although some accusations of forced repatriation were denied,thousands of Hmong people refused to return to Laos. In 1996, as the deadline for the closure of Thai refugee camps approached, and under mounting political pressure, the U.S. agreed to resettle Hmong refugees who passed a new screening process. Around 5,000 Hmong people who were not resettled at the time of the camp closures sought asylum at Wat Tham Krabok, a Buddhist monastery in central Thailand where more than 10,000 Hmong refugees were already living. The Thai government attempted to repatriate these refugees, but the Wat Tham Krabok Hmong refused to leave and the Lao government refused to accept them, claiming they were involved in the illegal drug trade and were of non-Lao origin.
In 2003, following threats of forcible removal by the Thai government, the U.S., in a significant victory for the Hmong, agreed to accept 15,000 of the refugees.Several thousand Hmong people, fearing forced repatriation to Laos if they were not accepted for resettlement in the U.S., fled the camp to live elsewhere within Thailand where a sizable Hmong population has been present since the 19th century.
In 2004 and 2005, thousands of Hmong fled from the jungles of Laos to a temporary refugee camp in the Thai province of Phetchabun.
The European Union,UNHCHR, and international groups have since spoken out about the forced repatriation.
On 4 June 2007, as part of an investigation labeled "Operation Tarnished Eagle," warrants were issued by U.S. federal courts ordering the arrest of Vang Pao and nine others for plotting to overthrow the government of Laos in violation of the federal Neutrality Acts and for multiple weapons charges.The federal charges allege that members of the group inspected weapons, including AK-47s, smoke grenade s, and Stinger missile s, with the intent of purchasing them and smuggling them into Thailand in June 2007 where they were intended to be used by Hmong resistance forces in Laos. The one non-Hmong person of the nine arrested, Harrison Jack, a 1968 West Point graduate and retired Army infantry officer, allegedly attempted to recruit Special Operations veterans to act as mercenaries.
In an effort to obtain the weapons, Jack allegedly met unknowingly with undercover U.S. federal agents posing as weapons dealers, which prompted the issuance of the warrants as part of a long-running investigation into the activities of the U.S.-based Hmong leadership and its supporters.
On 15 June, the defendants were indicted by a grand jury and a warrant was also issued for the arrest of an 11th man, allegedly involved in the plot. Simultaneous raids of the defendants' homes and work locations, involving over 200 federal, state and local law enforcement officials, were conducted in approximately 15 cities in Central and Southern California in the US.
Multiple protest rallies in support of the suspects, designed to raise awareness of the treatment of Hmong peoples in the jungles of Laos, took place in California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Alaska, and several of Vang Pao's high-level supporters in the U.S. criticized the California court that issued the arrest warrants, arguing that Vang is a historically important American ally and a valued leader of U.S. and foreign-based Hmong. However, calls for then Californian Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and then President George W. Bush to pardon the defendants were not answered, presumably pending a conclusion of the large and then still-ongoing federal investigation.
On 18 September 2009, the US federal government dropped all charges against Vang Pao, announcing in a release that the federal government was permitted to consider "the probable sentence or other consequences if the person is convicted."On 10 January 2011, after Vang Pao's death, the federal government dropped all charges against the remaining defendants saying, "Based on the totality of the circumstances in the case, the government believes, as a discretionary matter, that continued prosecution of defendants is no longer warranted," according to court documents.
The Hmong presence in Thailand dates back, according to most authors, to the turn of the 20th century when families migrated from China through Laos and Burma. A relatively small population, they still settled dozens of villages and hamlets throughout the northern provinces. The Hmong were then registered by the state as the Meo hilltribe. Then, more Hmong migrated from Laos to Thailand following the victory of the Pathet Lao in 1975. While some ended up in refugee camps, others settled in mountainous areas among more ancient Hill Tribes.
Many Hmong refugees resettled in the United States after the Vietnam War. Beginning in December 1975, the first Hmong refugees arrived in the U.S., mainly from refugee camps in Thailand; however, only 3,466 were granted asylum at that time under the Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1975. In May 1976, another 11,000 were allowed to enter the United States, and by 1978 some 30,000 Hmong people had immigrated. This first wave was made up predominantly of men directly associated with General Vang Pao's secret army. It was not until the passage of the Refugee Act of 1980 that families were able to enter the U.S., becoming the second wave of Hmong immigrants. Hmong families scattered across all 50 states but most found their way to each other, building large communities in California and Minnesota. Today, 260,073 Hmong people reside in the United Statesthe majority of whom live in California (91,224), Minnesota (66,181), and Wisconsin (49,240), an increase from 186,310 in 2000. Of them, 247,595 or 95.2% are Hmong alone, and the remaining 12,478 are mixed Hmong with some other ethnicity or race. The vast majority of part-Hmong are under 10 years old.
In terms of cities and towns, the largest Hmong-American community is in St. Paul (29,662), followed by Fresno (24,328), Sacramento (16,676), Milwaukee (10,245), and Minneapolis (7,512).
There are smaller Hmong communities scattered across the United States, including those in Michigan (Detroit and Warren); Anchorage, Alaska; Denver, Colorado; Portland, Oregon; Washington; North Carolina (Charlotte, Morganton); South Carolina (Spartanburg); Georgia (Auburn, Duluth, Monroe, Atlanta, and Winder); Florida (Tampa Bay); Wisconsin (Madison, Eau Claire, Appleton, Green Bay, Milwaukee, Oshkosh, La Crosse, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, and Wausau); Aurora, Illinois; Kansas City, Kansas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Missoula, Montana; Des Moines, Iowa; Springfield, Missouri; Arkansas,and Providence, Rhode Island.
Canada's small Hmong population is mostly concentrated within the province of Ontario. Kitchener, Ontario has 515 residents of Hmong descent, and has a Hmong church.
There is also a small community of several thousand Hmong who migrated to French Guiana in the late 1970s and early 1980s,that can be mainly found in the Hmong villages of Javouhey (1200 individuals) and Cacao (950 individuals).
Some Laos- and Vietnam-based Hmong Animists and Christians, including Protestant and Catholic believers, have been subjected to military attacks, police arrest, imprisonment, extrajudicial killings, and torture on religious grounds.
For example, in 2013, a Hmong Christian pastor, Vam Ngaij Vaj (Va Ngai Vang), was beaten to death by police and security forces.In February 2014, in Hanoi, Vietnamese government officials refused to allow medical treatment for a Hmong Christian leader, Duong Van Minh, who was suffering from a serious kidney illness. In 2011, Vietnam People's Army troops were used to crush a peaceful demonstration by Hmong Catholic, Protestant and Evangelical Christian believers who gathered in Dien Bien Province and the Dien Bien Phu area of northwestern Vietnam, according to Philip Smith of the Center for Public Policy Analysis, independent journalists and others.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has documented official and ongoing religious persecution, religious freedom violations against the Laotian and Hmong people in both Laos and Vietnam by the governments. In April 2011, the Center for Public Policy Analysis also researched and documented cases of Hmong Christians being attacked and summarily executed, including four Lao Hmong Christians.
Laos, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, commonly referred to by its colloquial name of Muang Lao, is a socialist state and the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia. Located at the heart of the Indochinese peninsula, Laos is bordered by Myanmar (Burma) and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the southwest, and Thailand to the west and southwest.
Vang Pao was a major general in the Royal Lao Army. He was a leader in the Hmong American community in the United States.
The Laotian Civil War (1959–79) was fought between the Communist Pathet Lao and the Royal Lao Government, with both sides receiving heavy external support in a proxy war between the global Cold War superpowers. It is called the Secret War among the CIA Special Activities Division and Hmong veterans of the conflict.
The Hmong–Mien languages are a highly tonal language family of southern China and northern Southeast Asia. They are spoken in mountainous areas of southern China, including Guizhou, Hunan, Yunnan, Sichuan, Guangxi, and Hubei provinces, where its speakers have been relegated to being "hill people", whereas the neighboring Han Chinese have settled the more fertile river valleys.
Hmong or Mong, known as First Vernacular Chuanqiandian Miao in China, is a dialect continuum of the West Hmongic branch of the Hmongic languages spoken by the Hmong of Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi, northern Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos. There are some 2.7 million speakers of varieties that are largely mutually intelligible, including over 280,000 Hmong Americans as of 2013. Over half of all Hmong speakers speak the various dialects in China, where the Dananshan (大南山) dialect forms the basis of the standard language. However, Hmong Daw (White) and Mong Njua (Green) are widely known only in Laos and the United States; Dananshan is more widely known in the native region of Hmong.
Hmong Americans are Americans of Hmong or Miao descent from China, Southeast Asia, most notably from Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. Hmong Americans are one group of Asian Americans. Many Laotian Hmong war refugees resettled in the US following the North Vietnamese invasion of Laos and Laotian Civil War during the Vietnam War. Following the Vietnam People's Army invasion and take over of the Royal Kingdom of Laos, beginning in December 1975, the first Laotian Hmong refugees arrived in the US, mainly from refugee camps along the Mekong river in Thailand. Thousands of Laotian Hmong fled persecution, human rights violations, military attacks, ethnic cleansing, and religious freedom violations, at the hands of Marxist and communist forces, including those of the Lao People's Army. However, despite the tens of thousands of Hmong people persecuted and killed, only approximately 3,466 were reportedly granted asylum as official refugees at this time under the Refugee Assistance Act of 1975.
The insurgency in Laos refers to the ongoing, albeit sporadic, military conflict of the Third Indochina War between the Lao People's Army, and Vietnam People's Army opposed primarily by members of the former "Secret Army" or the Hmong people as well as various other ethnic lowland Lao insurgencies in Laos, who have faced governmental reprisals due to Royal Lao and Hmong support for the American-led, anti-communist campaigns in Laos during the Laotian Civil War—which is an extension to the war itself. The North Vietnamese invaded Laos in 1958-59 and supported the communist Pathet Lao. It continued on the day after the end of the civil war with the Pathet Lao's capture of the Laotian capital Vientiane, who overthrew the Royal Kingdom of Laos and established a new government known as the Lao People's Democratic Republic.
The Laos and Hmong Memorial, or Lao Veterans of America Monument, is a granite monument, bronze plaque and living memorial in Arlington National Cemetery. Dedicated in May 1997, it is located in Section 2 on Grant Avenue between the path to the JFK memorial and the Tomb of the Unknowns, in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, in the United States. The Laos–Hmong memorial commemorates the veterans of the "Secret War" in Laos who fought against invading Soviet Union-backed North Vietnam Army forces of the People's Army of Vietnam and communist Pathet Lao guerrillas. Approved by the U.S. Department of Defense, Arlington National Cemetery, and the U.S. Department of the Army, but designed and paid for privately by the Lao Veterans of America, Inc., the Lao Veterans of America Institute, and The Centre for Public Policy Analysis, the memorial stands as a tribute to the Hmong, Lao, other ethnic groups, and American clandestine and military advisers who made up the Secret War effort during the Vietnam War. The Lao Veterans of America, Inc. is the nation's largest ethnic Laotian- and Hmong-American veterans organization.
Laos – United States relations officially began when the United States opened a legation in Laos in 1950, when Laos was a semi-autonomous state within French Indochina. These relations were maintained after Lao independence in October 1953.
Dr. Vang Pobzeb, PhD. was a Hmong American dedicated to Lao and Hmong human rights. He was born in Laos on July 12, 1957 and died in Saint Paul, Minnesota on August 23, 2005, reportedly of a heart attack. He received his Ph.D at the University of Denver. He was recognized posthumously on September 22, 2005 by the Wisconsin Senate for his work assisting the Hmong and Laotian community. For over 25 years, he was an outspoken critic of the Marxist governments of the Pathet Lao in Laos and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam(SRV) and their human rights violations, religious freedom violations, and persecution of the Lao and Hmong people.
The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA), or Centre for Public Policy Analysis, was established in Washington, D.C. in 1988 and describes itself as a non-profit, non-partisan, think tank and research organization. The CPPA is a non-governmental organization (NGO) focused on foreign policy, national security, human rights, refugee and international humanitarian issues.
Jerrold B. Daniels or Jerry Daniels was a CIA officer who worked in Laos and Thailand from the early 1960s to the early 1980s. He was known by his self-chosen CIA call-sign of "Hog." In the early 1960s, he was recruited by the CIA as a liaison officer between Hmong General Vang Pao and the CIA. He worked with the Hmong people for the CIA's operation in Laos commonly called the "Secret War" as it was little known at the time. In 1975, as the communist Pathet Lao and North Vietnamese Army advanced on the Hmong base at Long Tieng, Daniels organized the air evacuation of Vang Pao and more than two thousand of his officers, soldiers, and their families to Thailand. Immediately after the departure of Daniels and Vang Pao, thousands more Hmong fled across the Mekong river to Thailand, where they lived in refugee camps. From 1975 to 1982 Daniels worked among Hmong refugees in Thailand facilitating the resettlement of more than 50,000 of them in the United States and other countries.
The Indochina refugee crisis was the large outflow of people from the former French colonies of Indochina, comprising the countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, after communist governments were established in 1975. Over the next 25 years and out of a total Indochinese population in 1975 of 56 million, more than 3 million people would undertake the dangerous journey to become refugees in other countries of Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, or China. Hundreds of thousands may have died in their attempt to flee. More than 2.5 million Indochinese were resettled, mostly in North America, Australia, and Europe. Five hundred thousand were repatriated, either voluntarily or involuntarily.
The Lao Human Rights Council, Inc. (LHRC) is a non-profit, non-partisan, non-governmental (NGO) refugee and human rights organization. It is based nationally, and internationally, with chapters in Colorado, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Lao Human Rights Council, Inc. researches, and provides information and education regarding the plight of Laotian and Hmong people, and refugees persecuted in Laos, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and Thailand. It was founded by Dr. Pozbeb Vang, Vang Pobzeb of Greenbay Wisconsin. The Lao Human Rights Council, Inc. is currently headed by Vaughn Vang, an educator, and former political refugee from the Royal Kingdom of Laos, who is a Hmong-American—and who was born, and grew up, in Laos prior to the North Vietnamese invasion of Laos and Marxist takeover in 1975.
Hmong: History of a People is a book by H. Keith Quincy, PhD, published by the Eastern Washington University Press. It was initially published in 1988 with a revised edition published in 1995.
Hmong writing refers to the various writing systems that have been used for transcribing various Hmongic languages, spoken by Hmong people in China, Vietnam, Laos, the United States, and Thailand, these being the top five countries. Over a dozen scripts have been reported for Hmong, none of which is considered standard for transcribing the languages in the eyes of the speakers.
François Marie Savina was a Frenchman who worked as a Catholic priest and as an anthropologist. For an approximately forty-year period he worked in the Upper-Tonkin Vicariate, Hainan, and Laos. He studied the Hmong people of northern Vietnam and Laos as he was asked to spread Christianity to them. Nicholas Tapp, author of The Impossibility of Self: An Essay on the Hmong Diaspora, described Savina as "One of our earliest informants who is at all frank about the nature of his day-today encounters with the Hmong". Charles Keith, author of Catholic Vietnam: A Church from Empire to Nation, wrote that Savina was "[t]he most notable" missionary ethnographer of Southeast Asia of his era.
The Lao Veterans of America Institute (LVAI) is a national non-profit organization based in Fresno, and the Central Valley, of California, with chapters throughout California. It is one of the largest ethnic Lao- and Hmong-American veterans organizations representing tens of thousands of Lao Hmong veterans who served in the Vietnam War in the Royal Kingdom of Laos as well as their refugee families who were resettled in the United States after the conflict.
Ban Vinai Refugee Camp, officially the Ban Vinai Holding Center, was a refugee camp in Thailand from 1975 until 1992. Ban Vinai primarily housed highland people, especially Hmong, who fled communist rule in Laos. Ban Vinai had a maximum population of about 45,000 Hmong and other highland people. Many of the highland Lao were resettled in the United States and other countries. Many others lived in the camp for years which came to resemble a crowded and large Hmong village. The Royal Thai Government closed the camp in 1992, forced some of the inhabitants to return to Laos and removed the rest of them to other refugee camps.