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Hmong ethnohistory: An historical study of Hmong culture and its implications for ministry

Posted on:1994-07-15Degree:D.MisType:Dissertation
University:Fuller Theological Seminary, School of World MissionCandidate:Davidson, JackFull Text:PDF
Today over 115,000 Laotian Hmong reside in the United States. They are descendants of an ancient Asian people who originally lived in China but who have during the past several hundred years migrated into Indochina. This dissertation addresses the cultural history of these people.;The author gathered his data through participant observation, interviews (utilizing interpreters when necessary), and library research. The goal of the project was to allow the Hmong to tell their own story. This was accomplished to some degree by quoting Hmong interviewees and utilizing Hmong sources.;A major innovation in Hmong society in Laos was the introduction and acceptance of Christianity by large numbers beginning in 1950. Families and entire villages gave up the spirit cult and embraced Christianity. Alan Tippett's Triangle of Personal Relationships model is used to explore the various dimensions of this spiritual awakening. Fully acknowledging that the people movement was a supernatural work of the Spirit of God, the model aids in highlighting the fact that conversion is a process involving many persons and forces. The approximately 20,000 Hmong Christians in the United States associated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance are the spiritual fruit of the 1950 people movement.;The technique of "upstreaming" was employed, working from the present back against the flow of history.;The time periods were 1975-1990: migration to the United States; 1950-1975: Christian era in Laos, and pre-Christian Laos and China. Not surprisingly the first two of these proved to be the richest in oral history data.;Within the fairly recent history, the Hmong have lost two homelands: China and Laos. A territory once occupied and lost has not eroded the Hmong sense of identity. The author concluded that for the Hmong, who they are is more important than where they are. To be a Hmong is not to reside in a particular location, but to speak the Hmong language and to be near one's family and clan.;The author's recommendations and conclusions are found in chapter 9.
Keywords/Search Tags:Hmong, United states, History, People
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