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Area: Cao Bang, Ha Giang, Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Son La, Yen Bai
Economy: medicinal plants, opium, livestock
Belief system: animism
Cultural characteristics:The Hmong society was centered on clans that were found in remote and isolated regions of the mountains. There were 18 clans within the Hmong culture; Chang, Cheng, Chute, Fang, Hang, Her, Khang, Kong, Kue, Lee, Lor, Moua, Pha, Thao, Vang, Vue, Xiong, and Yang. They lived in extended families that were closely knit and farmed the regions were they lived. They enjoyed many crafts and were wonderful sewers. The background of this web site is sewing done by a Hmong artist. It depicts the story of how the Hmong assisted the U.S. and Thailand and of them fleeing into Thailand for refuge after the war. Hmong people use sewing as a way of expressing themselves, culture, and history.
Their way of life was forever changed when the United States CIA went to Laos and recruited them. The CIA and training teams secretly trained the Hmong people for the Secret War (Read Secret War page). The Hmong guerrillas went on rescue mission and defended American outpost using guerilla tactics. Once Laos fell to the communists in 1975; most Hmong had to fee across the wide Mekong River to seek safety in the Refugee camps. The remaining Hmong in Laos were reported to have been subject to horrible campaign of chemical warfare with the intention of genocide. When the Hmong left the refugee camps, they fled all over the globe to countries such as the United States, Australia, France, Canada, and French Guyana.
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The Hill Tribes