We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR
title

Calling in the soul

gender and the cycle of life in a Hmong village

Patricia V. Symonds

Publication Year: 2013

Based on research in northern Thailand, this ethnographic study examines Hmong cosmological beliefs about the cycle of life as expressed in practices surrounding birth, marriage, and death, and the gender relationships evident in these practices.

Published by: University of Washington Press

Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF (72.5 KB)
p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF (81.0 KB)
pp. 2-7

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF (24.4 KB)
pp. vii-viii

read more

Preface

pdf iconDownload PDF (44.9 KB)
pp. ix-xii

My interest in Hmong birthing practices began in 1979, when I was collecting medical histories from women at a clinic for low-income patients in Providence, Rhode Island. Many of these women were Hmong refugees from the hills of Laos. Few of them spoke English, and even fewer came in for early prenatal care. They were apprehensive...

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF (30.0 KB)
pp. xiii-xv

This book could not have been written without the help of many people. First I owe a great debt to my Hmong friends, assistants, and “teachers” in the United States and Thailand: to all of them I say, “Ua tsaug ntau kuv cov phooj ywg. Kuv muab phau ntaw no rau nej sawv daws.” Some I must thank...

read more

Notes On Orthography of the Hmong Language

pdf iconDownload PDF (37.5 KB)
pp. xvii-xviii

The Hmong have an oft-told tale about the destruction of an ancient written form of their language. They say that once they had a great book, filled with knowledge about life and the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. But this book was eaten by hungry cows and rats (Cooper et al., 1991:42), and...

read more

Introduction: Conducting Research In a Hmong Village

pdf iconDownload PDF (379.5 KB)
pp. xix-xlix

From January 1987 to May 1988, I lived in a Hmong community— which I will call Flower Village—in the mountains of northern Thailand, conducting anthropological field research. I especially wanted to discover how Hmong women understand the world, specifically how they perceive childbirth, but initially I did not make...

read more

1. Hmong Cosmology: A Balance of Opposites

pdf iconDownload PDF (249.6 KB)
pp. 3-35

Very little has been written on Hmong perceptions of birth, even though the Hmong view of life is cyclical and encompasses both birth and death, and a considerable amount of literature is available on death and reincarnation.1 In his preface to a translation of a Hmong death ritual chant...

read more

2. Mothers, Daughters, and Wives

pdf iconDownload PDF (301.1 KB)
pp. 36-76

In March of 1988 I attended a wedding in Flower Village. Many villagers had gathered in the bride’s parents’ house, not only for the ceremony itself, but for the long and noisy negotiations (in this case, three days) that precede Hmong weddings. The festivities ended when the young groom and bride left to go...

read more

3. Birth: The Journey to the Land of Light

pdf iconDownload PDF (174.4 KB)
pp. 77-109

During my first stay in Flower Village, twenty-six babies were born. About six months into my stay, women began to trust me enough to invite me to births. I then attended six births, usually because I was friendly with either the young woman herself or her mother-in-law. They would let me know when...

read more

4. Death: The Journey to the Land of Darkness

pdf iconDownload PDF (235.5 KB)
pp. 110-162

On the third day of life, the vital soul journeys from the land of darkness to the land of light, guided by the soul-calling chant. At death another chant guides the souls back to the land of darkness (Lemoine 1983b:6–8), to join the ancestors and await rebirth...

read more

5. Reflections on Power, Gender, and the Cycle of Life

pdf iconDownload PDF (66.3 KB)
pp. 163-174

For the Hmong, parenthood is the path to fulfillment in this world and the means toward peace as an ancestor in the afterlife. It is the reproductive power of women and the subsequent existence of children— both daughters, whose bride-price makes it possible for their brothers to marry and have their own...

read more

Epilogue: HIV/AIDS and the Hmong in Thailand

pdf iconDownload PDF (76.2 KB)
pp. 175-187

For over a century the Hmong have lived in the northern mountains of Thailand, on the periphery of the dominant Thai political and economic sectors in the lowlands. Although they have never been completely isolated, in the 1950s the Hmong, like other highlanders, experienced the incursion of various outside...

Appendix A: “Hu Plig” (Calling in the Soul): Hmong Text

pdf iconDownload PDF (25.6 KB)
pp. 189-192

Appendix B: “Showing the Way” (Qhuab Kev): English Translation

pdf iconDownload PDF (18.6 KB)
pp. 193-238

Appendix C: “Qhuab Kev” (Showing the Way): Hmong Text

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.3 MB)
pp. 239-269

Appendix D: Flower Village Demographics

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.4 MB)
pp. 270-273

Appendix E: A Shamanic Healing in the United States

pdf iconDownload PDF (22.3 KB)
pp. 274-275

Appendix F: Health Care and Gender Issues of Hmong in the United States

pdf iconDownload PDF (41.4 KB)
pp. 276-278

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF (64.6 KB)
pp. 279-288

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF (100.7 KB)
pp. 289-313

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF (61.3 KB)
pp. 314-326


E-ISBN-13: 9780295800424
E-ISBN-10: 0295800429
Print-ISBN-13: 9780295983394
Print-ISBN-10: 0295983396

Publication Year: 2013

Recommend

UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Hmong (Asian people) -- Thailand, Northern -- Rites and ceremonies.
  • Women, Hmong -- Thailand, Northern -- Social conditions.
  • Sex role -- Thailand, Northern.
  • Sexual division of labor -- Thailand, Northern.
  • Patrilineal kinship -- Thailand, Northern.
  • Thailand, Northern -- Social life and customs.
  • Hmong Americans -- Social life and customs.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access