Transport yourself to awe-inspiring green forests with the Hmong, a people with an incredible history and lineage spanning over China, Vietnam and Laos. Experience their customs and ceremonies that have been passed down through many generations.
Region is Southern Asia
Climate here is Tropical
The H'mong economy is based on the integrated cultivation of dry rice, maize and more crops. Hunting and gathering also support the community, while pigs and chickens provide the main source of protein.
Houses were traditionally made out of wooden upright shingles notched together or bound with hemp rope and creepers, thatched with teak leaves or cogon grass. New villages are carefully placed to ensure harmony between man and the environment.
Social organization is divided into patrilineal clans, the members of which are farmers. Individuals may specialize as wedding go-betweens or funeral assistants, but the most prestigious status is that of the shaman.
The H'mong believe each person has three souls and that upon death, one goes to heaven, one goes to be reincarnated and the other remains in the grave.
Music played on reed pipes, which is said to express the entirety of H'mong customs, is an art that takes many years to acquire. They have also passed down their legends and ritual ceremonies orally and in crafts (especially textiles) from one generation to another.
The H'mong language belongs to the Sino-Tibetan group of languages. There are two major dialects and cultural groups—the Green Hmong (also called the Blue Hmong) and the White Hmong.
Women in the community spend a large proportion of their time spinning, weaving and intricately embroidering hemp and cotton as part of the traditional Hmong clothing.
New Year is one of the most important celebrations to the Hmong, which is celebrated between December and January.
The Vietnamese dress conservatively, so it's best not to show off too much skin. It’s also important to dress respectfully when visiting pagodas meaning no shorts or bold T-shirts.
Photo credit: Woman from Black Hmong Hill Tribe iStock.com/hadynyah
Photo credit: Flower Hmong in traditional dress iStock.com/hadynyah
Photo credit: Traditional adobe hmong house iStock.com/mmanuel Chansarel-Bourigon