Hmong Paj Ntaub and Clothing, by Julie Thao

Like my mother has always said, “The young Hmong generation stopped appreciating great art that appeared within our culture. The culture and the art of the Hmong people is slowly dying.” In America, it is more difficult for mothers and daughters to find time to sit and sew together. Now, in present day, school and work are the two main priorities to Hmong Americans. I have noticed during past Hmong New Year celebrations that I have attended, traditional Hmong clothes have often evolved into modern form. You do not see many traditional clothes with hand sewn paj ntaub (flower cloth) designs, but instead simple fabric Hmong clothes without designs. As a young Hmong American, I still appreciate the beauty of the Hmong art and try my best to help my mother when she sews our traditional Hmong clothes for the upcoming Hmong New Year celebration. Watch my video where I walk you through the different kind of paj ntaub art and the different style of Hmong clothes that we would wear for annual celebrations and weddings.

For more information on Hmong art and clothing, check out these books:

The Whispering Cloth: A Refugee’s Story Hmong Art: Tradition and Change
 Grandfather Story Cloth = Yawg Daim Paj Ntaub Dab Neeg Stories in thread Hmong Pictorial Embroidery
Hmong in Minnesota

About the Author

Julie Thao is a Biology major and Metro Library Student Worker.

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