Hmong Hmong Hmong Amber Fennessey Jennifer Hastings Tim Robinson Kris Thompson Hmong
The Clan The Clan is the extended family unit, it serves as both a social and political organization in the Hmong Culture • It unites Hmong people into organized kinship groups, while it also divides them along mutually patrilineal lines • Anyone with the same clan name is related, wherever they may live.
VangHer ChengChang(Cha) Thao Chue Kong Lor Pha FangYangHangKueLee XiongMouaKangVue There are approximately 18 Different Clans in the U.S.
Purpose of the Clan • The Hmong are very close with their clan and put a great deal of trust into their clan leader • Clan leaders are not formally chosen • The Clan serves a variety of purposes in both the family life and in the community • Liaisons • Arbitrators Clan Exogany • The Hmong practice marriage by clan exogamy, which means that they must marry from a clan different from their own • Married women in Hmong society still physically remain a member of her clan of birth, but no longer belongs to her parents lineage and ritual circle
Assessing Family Structure Same Generation Considered Brothers/Sisters Uncle/Aunt/Nephew/Niece Considered Brothers/Sisters
Assessing Family Structure Considered Cousins / Same generation Marriage Considered Cousins / same generation
Assessing Family Structure Bride now a part of the new family. Takes on their ways. Considered Cousins Considered Cousins Lose a sister, gain a cousin Bride become sister to new family
Family Clothing • 18 Clans • Clothing designates clan • WHITE, BLUE • Green, Stripe, etc. ALL fall under the White or Blue Clans • Clothing preserves culture • Silver replaced by aluminum • New Clothes Only: personally sown by mothers
Language – Pahawh Hmong alphabet • Consonants • Vowels
Tone is directed by the last letter of the word. These letters are not pronounced: they act as tonal directors for where the end of the word should go. • -b – high tone • -s – low tone • -j – high-falling tone • -v – mid-rising tone • -m – low-falling (creaky) tone • -g – mid-low (breathy) tone • -d - phrase-final low-rising variant of -m Tonal Language • Hmong Language put into written form in the 1950s by missionaries • The first letter of a word directs the tone of the word • The last letter is the tonal direction. • Do not pronounce the last consonant if it is one of these • Can not pronounce words ending in these letters. • Lack of ‘s’ endings causes misunderstandings with plurality. • Lack of ‘d’ endings causes misunderstandings with past tense.
Names • Chaw Moua • Chaw is spelled ‘Tshaus’ • Moua is spelled ‘Muas’ • In both cases, the ‘s’ is not pronounced. Rather, it is a signal which directs the tone.
Courting & Marriage • Ball Tossing • Visiting home • Young brides • Marriage is extremely important to both the family and the clan • A father usually proposes marriage for his sons and judges the chosen husband for his daughters • Once a selection is made negotiations take place • Bride Price • Capturing
Marriage • In Laos, young women married as early as 12 • In the U.S. today, some families continue to sanction young marriages and early childbirth but as more young women are given educational opportunities, marriages are being delayed • “Living with her cousin” • Age 18, files papers for US marriage.
Marriage & Divorce • Women are referred to as “the other people’s women”. • If a woman misbehaves badly, the man has the right to divorce, and can insist on a return of the bride price • A woman can leave her husband at any time but without justification she will suffer a loss of face and find difficulties in remarrying • Once a woman is married she is cut off from her parent’s ritual system, therefore a woman must seek remarriage in the event of a divorce or widowhood so that she will have a proper place in the after life and avoid becoming a “lost soul”.
“House People” • The Hmong call individuals living in the same house, “house people”. • A household may have more than one family or generation • Some Hmong men are married to more than one woman • Couples often share the same sleeping quarters with their young children
Family Structure “To be with a family is to be happy. To be without a family is to be lost” -a traditional Hmong saying
The roles of men and women within the family • A mother teaches her daughters tasks related to housework, such as cooking & cleaning • Father’s spend time with their children when the mother needs help, the father’s primary role with children is to train his older sons in things such as agriculture, socialization, and religious induction • The mother is the one who admonishes her daughters for any misconduct or shameful acts
Child Rearing & Discipline • Children are precious in the Hmong culture and they have large families. • Grandparents and older siblings often help the mother take care of young children and adult children take care of aging parents • Hmong families tend to be strict by American standards of parenting, yet they use a wide variety of discipline techniques
Family Problems Facing the Hmong Culture • It has been difficult for many Hmong elders to adapt to the U.S. • Hmong children are often torn between the cultural expectations that surround them in the neighborhood and school setting and then face a different set of rules and customs that guide the child’s life within the Hmong family
Issues the Hmong families are facing • The family system is facing rapid & radical changes in gender and social roles. • Children become socialized into American society and are spending more time with American people and speaking English • Parents and families feel useless and dependent on their children due to language and socialization barriers
Hmong Parents Having Problems with Their Children • Parents are not used to the children staying in the home through and past teenage years. • The Hmong parents often have no personal experience with adolescent development or role models to assist them. • Hmong parents do not necessarily agree with “dating” in the U.S. • Interpreting
Hmong Populations At Risk • A high population of Hmong are heavily involved in the social service delivery system because of dependence on public assistance. • 70% of Hmong families in Hennepin County live below the poverty line • Almost half of the Hmong in the twin cities speak little or no English • More than half are illiterate in their own language
Youth at Risk • Living in severely disadvantaged economic conditions • Experiencing discrimination & prejudice • School truancy and incompletion • Social and Cultural barriers that lead to a lack of nurturing and support • Lack of opportunity in structured recreation and social activities • Negative impact of having depressed parent(s)
Working with Hmong Individuals, Families, and Communities • It is important that social workers frequently involve clan leaders in decision making • Build Trust • Provide a Hmong interpreter when needed • Use a normal tone of voice • Be a patient listener • Look at pragmatic events before, during, and after the families flight to America .
Working with the Hmong Population • Empathy • Accept the clients worldview and view of distress • Develop treatment goals that take the clients level of acculturation into account • Understand the client or families environmental situation • Understand the level of discrimination and racism that they are experiencing
Religion: “Da-Tay” • Heaven and hell • Different subdivisions • Dead spirits enter through gates • Penalties or rewards • Deceased come back as other humans, rocks, trees, etc. • Soul of deceased will come back into new members
Religion: Shamans • Leaders of religion • Link between living and the spiritual world • 2 types of shamans: • Tswj xeeb “Chuezing” • Xib hwb “Ci-hue” • Shaman shelves
Religion: Spiritual Sickness • Cure sick spiritually, but can’t cure diseases • Help with burns, infections, and broken bones • Healings often take days or months • Shaman enters into spiritual world • Shaking during “Orneng” (journey into spiritual world) • Exchanges sickness with the spirit of an animal
Religion: Cost of Healing • Shaman must be paid money to perform an orneng • Payment is determined by the giver • Ua neeb tuag “Orneng Thoua” • If person is still sick, a new shaman is used
Religion: Offering Payment • When things are bad, animals are sacrificed • Shaman is between 2 dimensions • Battle and negotiate with evil spirits • Cloth hood, chant, and dialogue with the spirit world
Religion: Traditional “Ua Dab” • Dreams, hallucinations, and death relates to spiritual existence • Respect and honor to their living elders • Contact with the spirits through shamans • Connection with supernatural beings. • The spirit world harbors a variety of spirits
Religion: Rituals and Practice • As many as half of the Hmong have converted to Christianity • Still observe shaman rituals • No standard set of rules for Hmong rituals and practices • Passed on to each new generation
Religion: Hmong Beliefs • Allotted a limited number of days on Earth • Determined at birth what clan they are in • Believe spirits live in each corner of house • Represented by mountains, trees, streams, etc. • After death, spirit returns to retrieve Tsho (chaw) • Playing bamboo pipes
Religion: Poob plig “Pone-plea” • Person gets scared and becomes weak and sick • Sick person looses his spirit • Shaman brings back spirit • Hu plig “Who-plea” • Tie white strings around sick person’ hands
Religion: “Chaw-plea” • Performed a few years after a death • Shaman used a basked and shirt • After, a pig or cow is sacrificed for that person • Deceased person can carry on journey
Religion: Npua laus “Boua-Lao” • Performed for those who are sick • Shaman tells the person they must have a boua-lao performed • Performed by men at night by sacrificing a pig
Religion: Other Shaman Ceremonies • If snake enters house, a Xa dab “Sada” is performed • No one can enter or leave, except for family • Green leaves are left on or near the door • If someone enters, the evil spirits will enter the house with them • Someone is lost or out at war • Family prays to ancestors
Religion: Taboos • Lee Clans • Can’t eat spleen of animals • Vang families • Eating rice with fruits is prohibited • Yang families • Prohibited from eating heart of animals • Consequences
Conflicting Cultural Issues • Medicine • Religion • Marriage • Family Structure • Language • Property/Land Rights • Hunting & Fishing
Story of Chai Vang • Rice Lake, Wisconsin, November 2004 • Chai Soua Vang shot and killed six hunters after being told to leave private property during hunting season • Four of the six victims were shot from behind as they fled, and Vang testified that three of them deserved to die for the "disrespect" they had shown him in hurling racial epithets at him and refusing to let him leave peacefully. Chai Vang was found guilty of murder and received a sentence of life in prison • The Vang family expressed its anger with the makeup of the all-white jury panel, which was selected in Dane County in Madison, Wis., and brought to the trial venue in Hayward, some 500 miles away, because of intense publicity about the case.
Conflicting Cultural Issues • Hunting Laws • Property Rights • Pride/Disrespect • Self-Defense (Hmong history of war) Culture of Hunting in Wisconsin • Property Rights • Hunting Laws • My own hunting experience
Health Care: Mental Illness • No word for mental illness in the Hmong language • Ua Dab refers to the illness as an evil or unhappy spirit • Story of girl suffering from hallucinations • Western medicine is not widely accepted • Hmong often wait until late stages to seek professional help • Will stop taking medications if they believe they are healed
Health Care: Adaptation and Adjustment • Difficult accessing due to language barriers • Lack of proficiency in English • Lack of trained medical interpreters • Lack of medical terminology in their language • Culture barriers • Lack of knowledge about Western health care • Suspicions about Western medicine • Lack of respect by healthcare providers
Health Care: Providers • Insensitive to language needs • Unaware of traumatic experiences they have experienced • Unaware of feelings of isolation and fear • Little or no knowledge about Hmong beliefs about health/illness • Believe patient should make own decisions and disregard families
Health Care: Match • A Multidisciplinary Approach to Cross-Culture Healthcare • Developed in Merced, California • Identify health needs of immigrants and refugees. • Outcomes: decreased hospital stays and fewer complications • Mission Statement: • “MATCH will increase provider sensitivity to different cultures and their beliefs about health and illness. This program will give accurate information about the health care delivery system, medical programs, diagnostic procedures, medical treatment and illness prevention to members of the ethnic populations of Merced County.”