HMONG STUDIES NEWSLETTER March/April 2005
ONLINE PUBLICATION OF THE HMONG RESOURCE CENTER OF THE HMONG CULTURAL CENTER
ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION: The Hmong Studies Resource Newsletter provides up-to-date information
about new works in Hmong Studies and Hmong-related research resources. To access back issues of this
unique online publication visit: http://www.hmongcenter.org/hccnewsletter.html
ABOUT THE HMONG RESOURCE CENTER:
The work of the Hmong Resource Center is to provide information to Hmong and non-Hmong for the
purpose of promoting positive race relations, human rights, multicultural education, information about cross-
cultural health and medicine, teacher education, family literacy education and community-based research.
The Hmong Resource Center of the Hmong Cultural Center is open to the public Monday through Friday
from 9 AM – 6 PM. The Hmong Resource Center is located in the Hmong Cultural Center’s offices at 995
University Avenue, Suite 214 in Saint Paul. Phone: 651-917-9937. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online Resource Center Catalog: www.hmongcenter.org/ or www.hmongcenter.com/ Walk-ins are
welcome and there are many displays to look at that teach about the Hmong people, their history, their
culture and their experience in the U.S. over the past 25 years. Larger group tours and educational
sessions may be arranged in advance.
The Hmong Cultural Center and its Resource Center serves as the Hmong representative organization on
the Council of Advisors of Tolerance Minnesota.
NEW WORKS IN HMONG STUDIES:
Chang, Chou Soobtsheej. (2004). A Hmong and His Story, EdD Dissertation, University of Saint Thomas.
This doctoral dissertation probes the larger, deeper Hmong journey through the life story of one Hmong
individual, who was born in the jungle of Phou Bia, Laos, grew up during the Secret War in Laos,
emigrated to Thailand as a refugee, and finally to the United States of America.
Clarkin, Patrick Francis. (2004). The fetal origins hypothesis and the Hmong diaspora: Effects of warfare,
early malnutrition, and later modernization on adult health. PhD Dissertation, State University of New York
at Binghamton. This dissertation explores how early malnutrition and later modernization have affected
chronic disease markers in Hmong refugees in French Guiana and the United States. Using a stepwise
regression analysis, the author found that Hmong who resided in the U.S. had a significantly higher central
skinfold ratio and lower arm muscle area, while age at first resettlement was positively associated with
higher blood pressure and shorter stature. Individuals born in a war zone had a significantly higher body
mass index, abdominal/hip ratio, and a central skinfold ratio than those born in a safe zone. Also, Hmong
who were displaced from their village before age 2 years had higher blood pressure and shorter stature
than those who were not. It appears that early malnutrition resulting from conditions of war has had
detrimental effects on growth and development after controlling for degree of modernization in adulthood.
Finally, Hmong in the United States had a higher adjusted odds ratio for pre-hypertension in a logistic
regression analysis, indicating that modernization is also a factor in chronic disease development.
Moua, Neng. (2004). Satisfaction levels among Hmong clients using the services of shamans in Fresno
County, California. Masters in Public Health Thesis, California State University, Fresno. The purpose of
this study was to gain an understanding in satisfaction levels among Hmong in Fresno County who used
shamans' services with respect to the gender of shamans, the use of live or dead animals, and ritual
practices inside or outside of the client's home. The PEN-3 model by Airhihenbuwa was used to guide this
study. The instrument was translated into Hmong language for preference of the respondents. A total of
115 participants were recruited (87 males and 28 females). A significant difference in clients' satisfaction
levels was found by the shamans' practice inside or outside the client's home. A significant difference
found in clients' satisfaction according to the use of live or dead animals in the shaman's practice. Clients
who had shamans who use live animals were significantly more satisfied than those who use dead
animals. There were no significant differences in regard to the gender of shamans.
Tungarayasub, Ittipon. (2004). A bio-solar house for northern Thailand. MS Engineering Thesis, University
of Massachusetts, Lowell. The feasibility of a bio-solar house was investigated within a Hmong village in
the mountains in the rural areas of the north of Thailand. The group had no electric power for lighting or
clean fuel for cooking or space heating/cooling. There were two design parts in this study; the solar house
with passive solar features and a photovoltaic system, and a biogas system. The insulation for house in
this study was straw available in the area and the thermal mass was a stone floor. The PV system was
expected to produce enough electricity for two fluorescent lights, one lantern light and one radio with an
loss-of-load probability of 5%. The biogas system would produce 2 m of methane gas per day, enough for
cooking for five people. The initial estimated cost of the bio-solar house was low, so it is expected to pay
for itself in 5 years. The biogas system by itself has a predicted payback time of one year based on gas
prices in a nearby city and appears worthy of continued development.
Schein, Louisa. (2005). “Marrying Out of Place: Hmong/Miao Women Across and Beyond China.” In Cross-
Border Marriages: Gender and Mobility in Transnational Asia: Editor: Nicole Constable. Philadelphia:
University of Pennsylvania Press, pp. 53-79. The author of this article examines two types of translocal
marriages involving Hmong women from China. The first of these involve marriages with Hmong-American
men who visit China looking for a Hmong bride to take to the United States. The second type of marriages
assessed involved Hmong women in China who marry non-Hmong (primarily Han Chinese) men from other
provinces. This work is part of an anthology of articles focusing on how international marriages are
negotiated, arranged and experienced and the implications of these marriages for understanding how
local and global processes in the everyday lives of women and men bring both potentially greater
possibilities but also disappointments in many cases.
Duffy, John. (2004). “Letters from the Fair City: A rhetorical conception of literacy.” College Composition
and Communication 56(2): 223-250. This article suggests that literacy development in immigrant, refugee,
and other historically marginalized communities can be understood as a response to rhetorical struggles in
contexts of civic life. To illustrate this "rhetorical conception of literacy," the article examines a collection of
anti-immigrant letters published in a Midwestern newspaper between 1985 and 1995 and the responses
to these by a group of Southeast Asian Hmong refugee writers. The essay explores the relationships of
content, form, language, and audience in the two sets of letters to show how the anti-immigrant rhetoric
became the basis for new forms of public writing in the Hmong community.
Helsel, Deborah G., Mochel, Marilyn, and Robert Bauer. (2004). “Shamans in a Hmong American
Community.” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 10(6): 933-339. The purpose of this
research study was to increase understanding of the process and meanings of shamanic care from patient
complaint through diagnosis, treatment, and outcome. The authors collected information from 924 patient
contact forms completed by 36 shamans over an 18-month period included basic demographic
information on the patients, their complaints, treatments suggested by the shamans and the shamans'
perceptions of the outcomes of treatment. These data were translated and entered into a computer
database. The sample involved a Hmong American community in California's Central Valley. Quantitative
descriptions of the sample were generated and integrated with qualitative analysis of the content of the text
from the diagnostic, treatment and outcome categories was performed to systematically identify patterns in
the data. Patients sought shamanic help for an array of physical, emotional, and psychologic complaints—
problems that the shamans frequently diagnosed as being caused by soul loss or bad spirits. The authors
note that the data suggest the persistence of the need for the spiritual healing provided by the shamans
within this immigrant community. Shamans' rituals affirmed and strengthened connections to family, culture,
Her, Cheng and Kathleen Culhane-Pera. (2004). “Culturally Responsive Care for Hmong Patients.”
Postgraduate Medicine 116(6): 39-45. The authors of this article present suggestions as to how primary
care physicians can enhance their interactions with Hmong patients. The authors posit that doctors should
seek to understand various elements of Hmong culture, particularly its approach to medicine and healing.
Withers, Andrea C. (2004). “Hmong Language and Cultural Maintenance in Merced, California.” Bilingual
Research Journal 28(3): 425-462. The purpose of this research was to ascertain whether certain aspects
of the Hmong language and culture are shifting or being maintained within a generational cross-section of
12 Hmong participants in Merced, California. Data were collected in the form of interviews, questionnaires,
Internet research, and library research. The results of the study showed that though there were Hmong
language and cultural resources available in Merced, the participants nonetheless seemed to be
undergoing a generational shift in their heritage language in terms of both ability and use, as well as their
attitudes about and participation in their heritage culture.
RECENT RESOURCE CENTER VISITORS:
Dao Yang, a student at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse visited the Resource Center to find sources
for a research paper on Hmong paj ntaub embroidery.
Students in a teacher training class at Metropolitan State University visited to learn more about learning
styles of Hmong-origin students and cultural etiquette for working with Hmong families.
HMONG RESOURCE CENTER PARTNERS WITH WWW HMONG HOMEPAGE:
The Hmong Resource Center has partnered with Craig Rice to provide up-to-date content related to
community educational events, Hmong resources and Hmong Studies for the WWW Hmong Homepage.
Craig Rice co-founded the WWW Hmong Homepage in early 1994. The website was one of the first to
provide substantive educational resources related to Hmong-Americans and Hmong around the world. The
WWW Hmong Homepage is still one of the most heavily utilized educational websites related to the
Hmong. To view the relaunched WWW Hmong Homepage visit: www.hmongnet.org
ADDITIONAL CONTENT ON NEW LEARN ABOUT HMONG WEBSITE:
Hmong Cultural Center’s Hmong Resource Center has launched a new multicultural education website:
www.learnabouthmong.com. The new Learn about Hmong website uses online video clips and other
multimedia technologies to teach about the Hmong people, and promote a better understanding of the
Hmong people and their experience in Minnesota and the United States.
A highlight of the website is a newly expanded 55 slide comprehensive “Hmong 101” presentation with
information about Hmong History, the Hmong refugee experience, the new Hmong refugees coming from
Wat Thamkrabok, Hmong life in America, the basics of Hmong culture and cultural etiquette for service
providers and others who interact with traditional Hmong. Another new feature is a presentation with
information about several important figures in Hmong History. Other features include a photo essay of
Hmong businesses which have helped revitalize several Saint Paul neighborhoods, video clips of
important Hmong community events in Minnesota, and profiles of Hmong who were pioneers in the fields
of medicine, academia, law and politics. The website also teaches about traditional Hmong folk arts
through video clips of Hmong musical instruments, folksongs and Hmong embroidery. The new website
was featured in a Saint Paul Pioneer Press article on Monday, December 20.
LearnaboutHmong.com has been made possible by a grant from the 3M/COMPAS Award for Innovation in
the Arts Program and the Asian Pacific Endowment of the Saint Paul Foundation. To view the new content
(Hmong 101 Presentation and Hmong Historical Figures) on the Learn about Hmong website visit:
SCHOLARS RESPOND TO PORTRAYAL OF HMONG SHAMANISM IN DECEMBER 2004 NEW YORK
Mark E. Pfeifer of the Hmong Resource Center along with Dr. Dia Cha of Saint Cloud State University and
Dr. Nicholas Tapp of Australian National University have written letters to the New York Times in response
to a very misleading and culturally inaccurate New York Times article that appeared December 1, 2004.
The letters to the New York Times may be read at the following link:
HUMAN RIGHTS AND RACE RELATIONS ARTICLES COLLECTIONS AT HMONG RESOURCE
As part of its ongoing commitment to promote education about social justice issues as they affect Hmong
in the U.S. and around the world, the Resource Center maintains important collections of newspaper
articles related to the Human Rights of Hmong residing in Southeast Asia and Race Relations issues
Listings of the holdings of these continually updated collections are available at the following resource links:
Human Rights: http://www.hmongcenter.org/humrigcol.html
Race Relations: http://www.hmongcenter.org/racrelcol.html
HMONG STUDIES JOURNAL CFP: VOLUME 6 (MARCH 15, 2005):
The Hmong Studies Journal invites article submissions for its 2005 issue (Volume 6). The deadline for
submissions to be considered for the 2005 issue is March 15, 2005.
Hmong Studies-related scholarly articles from all disciplinary backgrounds and perspectives are welcome.
Works considered for submission must consist of original research and not have been previously
published elsewhere. Book reviews are welcome but works consisting primarily of non-original literature
reviews of other works generally are not accepted. Neither are works that consist primarily of political-
oriented commentary. Articles for submission review should be sent on diskette or by e-mail attachment to
Mark E. Pfeifer, PhD Director, Hmong Resource Center, Hmong Cultural Center, 995 University Avenue,
Suite 214, Saint Paul, MN 55104, e-mail: email@example.com or to Anne Frank, Librarian,
Southeast Asian Archive, University of California, Irvine, The UCI Libraries, P.O. Box 19557, Irvine, CA
92623-9557, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note: As a peer-reviewed journal, the Hmong Studies Journal reserves the right to suggest and
request revisions to any submitted article. The editors and editorial board of the Hmong Studies Journal
will review all articles and subsequent drafts for possible submission and will decide whether articles are to
be accepted or declined.
To view all of the articles in the past issues of the Hmong Studies Journal visit: http://www.hmongstudies.
HMONG CULTURAL CENTER’S 2004 ANNUAL REPORT NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE:
Hmong Cultural Center’s 2004 Annual Report is now available online in PDF format. The report includes
listings of 2004 acquisitions in the Hmong Resource Center. The report may be visited at the following link:
Funding supporters of the Hmong Resource Center include the New York and Vermont-based Freeman
Foundation, the Marbrook Foundation, the 3M Foundation/COMPAS Award for Innovation in the Arts
Program and the Asian Pacific Endowment of the Saint Paul Foundation. The Building Bridges Outreach
program is supported by the Saint Paul Foundation and the Minnesota Humanities Commission.