|The Hmong are
scattered throughout many countries, including China, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand. Within
Thailand they are found in many provinces, including Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phayao, Nan,
Phrae, Mae Hong Son and Tak. They belong to the Meo-Yao branch of the Austro-Thai
linguistic group. The Hmong are the second largest tribal group after the Karen.
There are three subgroups of Hmong to be found in Thailand: the Blue Hmong (Mong Njua),
the White Hmong (Hmong Daw) and the Hmong Gua M'ba. The White Hmong and the Hmong Gua M'ba
are very similar, the latter have only been in Thailand for a few years (they came across
the border from Laos). The White Hmong women wear indigo trousers on most occasions but
have a white pleated skirt for special occasions. The Blue Hmong women wear an indigo
batik design skirt at all times, the skirt having many many pleats.
are patrilineal and polygamy is allowed. After marriage wives move into the husband's
house. The extended family is the most important unit in a Hmong village and after that
the clan is most important. Clans are identified by their name and most villages normally
have families from more than one clan. Marriage within the clan is not allowed.
The Hmong prefer to set their villages at high altitudes of 1000-1200m and practice
shifting cultivation. They will often move great distances in search of new and better
land. Their primary crops are dry rice and corn with vegetables for cash crops.
The Hmong worship their ancestors and many other spirits. The village priest and shaman
are very important people in the village. Their ceremonies also show their close
connections to Chinese culture.
New Year, after the rice harvest is the most important ceremony of the year and you will
often see the people wearing silver, which is a sign of wealth. The Hmong men are
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08 ตุลาคม 2002 16:02:12