Hmong and American

Stories of Transition to a Strange Land

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About the Book

The Hmong were driven out of Laos by the turmoil of the Vietnam War and settled in America in such large numbers that they are now the second largest Southeast Asian population in the United States. Twelve Hmong immigrants, including a female shaman, an ex-military officer, a reformed gang member, a doctor, and a woman who was snatched from her mountain village at the age of eight, deposited in Laos’s French culture and finally returned to Laos years later, tell their stories of struggling with American life while preserving the values of their own ancient culture. The author also considers the 5,000 years of Hmong history and its lasting influence.

About the Author(s)

Sue Murphy Mote has been a feature writer and editor for newspapers in Northern California. She is a freelance writer living in Richmond, California.

Bibliographic Details

Sue Murphy Mote

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 316
Bibliographic Info: photos, maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2004
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1832-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1617-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction: “Will They Eat Me?”      9

PART I. JOURNEYS
1. Leaving: Chamy Thor      21
2. What Makes the Hmong, Hmong      52
3. Keeper of the Past: Mai Xiong      57
4. Feast and Famine      73
5. Five Thousand Years, Ten Thousand Miles: The Hmong      88

PART II. HMONG WORLD: THAT WAS THEN
6. Old Royalty: Ly Vong Lynaolu      115
7. An Argument with the Stone Age: Chamy Thor      129

PART III. NEW WORLD: AMERICA THE DIFFICULT
8. A Death: Ly Vong Lynaolu      167
9. Ties That Bind: Hmongtown, U.S.A.      175
10. Kids Astray: Sai Sue Lor      196

PART IV. MIDDLE WORLD: BEING HMONG IN AMERICA
11. A Change of Mind: Lue Vang, Pang Foua Yang Rhodes      215
12. Choosing a Path: Mai Xia Cha      231
13. A Different Path: The Children of Long      242
14. Buried Treasure: Mai Xiong      260
15. Peb Hmoob, We Hmong: Chamy Thor      266

Appendix A: Hmong Language and Names      283
Appendix B: Child-Rearing Study      287
Chapter Notes      291
Bibliography      295
Index      299