|11 to 12 million|
|Regions with significant populations|
|United States||327,000 (2019)|
|France (French Guiana)||2,000|
|Hmong, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Lao, French, English, Burmese|
|Shamanism • Christianity • Buddhism|
The Hmong people (RPA: Hmoob, Nyiakeng Puachue: 𞄀𞄩𞄰, Pahawh Hmong: 𖬌𖬣𖬵, IPA: [m̥ɔ̃́]) are an ethnic group which mainly lives in southern China (Guizhou, Yunnan, Sichuan, Chongqing, and Guangxi), Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar. They have been members of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) since 2007. In China they are classified as a subgroup of the Miao people.
During the First and Second Indochina Wars, France and the United States intervened in the Laotian Civil War by recruiting thousands of Hmong people to fight against forces from North and South Vietnam which were stationed in Laos in accordance with their mission to support the communist Pathet Lao insurgents. The CIA operation is known as the Secret War.
The Hmong traditions and legends indicate that they originated near the Yellow River region of China. But according to linguist Martha Ratliff, there is linguistic evidence to suggest that they have occupied some of the same areas of southern China for over 8,000 years. Evidence from mitochondrial DNA in Hmong–Mien–speaking populations supports the southern origins of maternal lineages even further back in time, although it has been shown that Hmong-speaking populations had comparatively more contact with northern East Asians than had the Mien.
Chi You is the Hmong God. Today, a statue of Chi You has been erected in the town named Zhuolu. The author of the Guoyu, authored in the 4th to 5th century, considered Chi You’s Jiu Li tribe to be related to the ancient ancestors of the Hmong, the San-Miao people.
In 2011, Hmong DNA was sampled and found to contain 7.84% D-M15 and 6%N(Tat) DNA. The research found a common ancestry between Hmong-Mien peoples and Mon-Khmer people groups dating to the Last Glacial Maximum approximately 15–18,000 years ago.
Conflict between the Hmong of southern China and newly arrived Han settlers increased during the 18th century under repressive economic and cultural reforms imposed by the Qing dynasty. This led to armed conflict and large-scale migrations well into the late 19th century, the period during which many Hmong people emigrated to Southeast Asia. The migration process had begun as early as the late-17th century, however, before the time of major social unrest, when small groups went in search of better agricultural opportunities.
The Hmong people were subjected to persecution and genocide by the Qing dynasty government. Kim Lacy Rogers wrote: "In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, while the Hmong lived in south-western China, their Manchu overlords had labeled them 'Miao' and targeted them for genocide. "
Since 1949, the Miao people (Chinese: 苗族; pinyin: miáo zú) has been an official term for one of the 55 official minority groups recognized by the government of the People's Republic of China. The Miao live mainly in southern China, in the provinces of Guizhou, Hunan, Yunnan, Sichuan, Guangxi, Hainan, Guangdong, and Hubei. According to the 2000 censuses, the number of 'Miao' in China was estimated to be about 9.6 million. The Miao nationality includes Hmong people as well as other culturally and linguistically related ethnic groups who do not call themselves Hmong. These include the Hmu, Kho (Qho) Xiong, and A Hmao. The White Miao (Bai Miao) and Green Miao (Qing Miao) are Hmong groups.
During the colonization of 'Tonkin' (north Vietnam) between 1883 and 1954, a number of Hmong decided to join the Vietnamese Nationalists and Communists, while many Christianized Hmong sided with the French. After the Viet Minh victory, numerous pro-French Hmong had to fall back to Laos and South Vietnam.
After decades of distant relations with the Lao kingdoms, closer relations between the French military and some Hmong on the Xieng Khouang plateau were set up after World War II. There, a particular rivalry between members of the Lo and Ly clans developed into open enmity, also affecting those connected with them by kinship. Clan leaders took opposite sides and as a consequence, several thousand Hmong participated in the fighting against the Pathet Lao Communists, while perhaps as many were enrolled in the People's Liberation Army. In Laos, numerous Hmong also genuinely tried to avoid getting involved in the conflict in spite of the extremely difficult material conditions under which they lived during wartime.
U.S. and the Laotian Civil War
In the early 1960s, partially as a result of the North Vietnamese invasion of Laos, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) Special Activities Division began to recruit, train and lead the indigenous Hmong people in Laos to fight against North Vietnamese Army divisions invading Laos during the Vietnam War. This "Secret Army" was organized into various mobile regiments and divisions, including various Special Guerrilla Units, all of whom were led by General Vang Pao. An estimated sixty-percent (60%) of Hmong men in Laos joined up.[better source needed]
While Hmong soldiers were known to assist the North Vietnamese in many situations, Hmong soldiers were also recognized for serving in combat against the NVA and the Pathet Lao, helping block Hanoi's Ho Chi Minh trail inside Laos and rescuing downed American pilots. Though their role was generally kept secret in the early stages of the conflict, they made great sacrifices to help the U.S.
Thousands of economic and political refugees have resettled in Western countries in two separate waves. The first wave resettled in the late 1970s, mostly in the United States, after the North Vietnamese and Pathet Lao takeovers of the pro-US governments in South Vietnam and Laos respectively. The Lao Veterans of America, and Lao Veterans of America Institute, helped to assist in the resettlement of many Laotian and Hmong refugees and asylum seekers in the United States, especially former Hmong veterans and their family members who served in the "U.S. Secret Army" in Laos during the Vietnam War.[failed verification]
Hmong Lao resistance
For many years, the Neo Hom resistance and political movement played a key role in resistance to the Vietnam People's Army in Laos following the U.S. withdrawal in 1975. Vang Pao played a significant role in this movement. Additionally, a spiritual leader Zong Zoua Her, as well as other Hmong leaders, including Pa Kao Her or Pa Khao Her, rallied some of their followers in an additional factionalized guerrilla resistance movement called ChaoFa (RPA: Cob Fab, Pahawh Hmong: 𖬒𖬯 𖬖𖬜𖬵 ). These events led to the yellow rain controversy when the United States accused the Soviet Union of supplying and using chemical weapons in this conflict.
Small groups of Hmong people, many of the second or third generation descendants of former CIA soldiers, remain internally displaced in remote parts of Laos, in fear of government reprisals. Faced with continuing military operations against them by the government and a scarcity of food, some groups have begun coming out of hiding, while others have sought asylum in Thailand and other countries. Hmongs in Laos, in particularly, develop a stronger and deeper anti-Vietnamese sentiment than its Vietnamese Hmong cousins, due to historic persecution perpetrated by the Vietnamese against them.
Controversy over repatriation
The examples and perspective in this section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (February 2018)
In June 1991, after talks with the UNHCR and the Thai government, Laos agreed to the repatriation of over 60,000 Lao refugees living in Thailand, including tens of thousands of Hmong people. Very few of the Lao refugees, however, were willing to return voluntarily. Pressure to resettle the refugees grew as the Thai government worked to close its remaining refugee camps. While some Hmong people returned to Laos voluntarily, with development assistance from UNHCR, coercive measures and forced repatriation was used to send thousands of Hmong back to the communist regime they had fled. Of those Hmong who did return to Laos, some quickly escaped back to Thailand, describing discrimination and brutal treatment at the hands of Lao authorities.
In the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, The Center for Public Policy Analysis, a non-governmental public policy research organization, and its Executive Director, Philip Smith, played a key role in raising awareness in the U.S. Congress and policy making circles in Washington, D.C. about the plight of the Hmong and Laotian refugees in Thailand and Laos. The CPPA, backed by a bipartisan coalition of Members of the U.S. Congress as well as human rights organizations, conducted numerous research missions to the Hmong and Laotian refugee camps along the Mekong River in Thailand, as well as the Buddhist temple of Wat Tham Krabok.
Amnesty International, the Lao Veterans of America, Inc., the United League for Democracy in Laos, Inc., Lao Human Rights Council, Inc. (led by Dr. Pobzeb Vang Vang Pobzeb, and later Vaughn Vang) and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and human rights organizations joined the opposition to forced repatriation.
Although some accusations of forced repatriation were denied, thousands of Hmong people refused to return to Laos. In 1996, as the deadline for the closure of Thai refugee camps approached, and under mounting political pressure, the U.S. agreed to resettle Hmong refugees who passed a new screening process. Around 5,000 Hmong people who were not resettled at the time of the camp closures sought asylum at Wat Tham Krabok, a Buddhist monastery in central Thailand where more than 10,000 Hmong refugees were already living. The Thai government attempted to repatriate these refugees, but the Wat Tham Krabok Hmong refused to leave and the Lao government refused to accept them, claiming they were involved in the illegal drug trade and were of non-Lao origin.
In 2003, following threats of forcible removal by the Thai government, the U.S., in a significant victory for the Hmong, agreed to accept 15,000 of the refugees. Several thousand Hmong people, fearing forced repatriation to Laos if they were not accepted for resettlement in the U.S., fled the camp to live elsewhere within Thailand where a sizable Hmong population has been present since the 19th century.
Alleged plot to overthrow the government of Laos
On 4 June 2007, as part of an investigation labeled "Operation Tarnished Eagle," warrants were issued by U.S. federal courts ordering the arrest of Vang Pao and nine others for plotting to overthrow the government of Laos in violation of the federal Neutrality Acts and for multiple weapons charges. The federal charges allege that members of the group inspected weapons, including AK-47s, smoke grenades, and Stinger missiles, with the intent of purchasing them and smuggling them into Thailand in June 2007 where they were intended to be used by Hmong resistance forces in Laos. The one non-Hmong person of the nine arrested, Harrison Jack, a 1968 West Point graduate and retired Army infantry officer, allegedly attempted to recruit Special Operations veterans to act as mercenaries.
In an effort to obtain the weapons, Jack allegedly met unknowingly with undercover U.S. federal agents posing as weapons dealers, which prompted the issuance of the warrants as part of a long-running investigation into the activities of the U.S.-based Hmong leadership and its supporters.
On 15 June, the defendants were indicted by a grand jury and a warrant was also issued for the arrest of an 11th man, allegedly involved in the plot. Simultaneous raids of the defendants' homes and work locations, involving over 200 federal, state and local law enforcement officials, were conducted in approximately 15 cities in Central and Southern California in the US.
Multiple protest rallies in support of the suspects, designed to raise awareness of the treatment of Hmong peoples in the jungles of Laos, took place in California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Alaska, and several of Vang Pao's high-level supporters in the U.S. criticized the California court that issued the arrest warrants, arguing that Vang is a historically important American ally and a valued leader of U.S. and foreign-based Hmong. However, calls for then Californian Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and then President George W. Bush to pardon the defendants were not answered, presumably pending a conclusion of the large and then still-ongoing federal investigation.
On 18 September 2009, the US federal government dropped all charges against Vang Pao, announcing in a release that the federal government was permitted to consider "the probable sentence or other consequences if the person is convicted." On 10 January 2011, after Vang Pao's death, the federal government dropped all charges against the remaining defendants saying, "Based on the totality of the circumstances in the case, the government believes, as a discretionary matter, that continued prosecution of defendants is no longer warranted," according to court documents.
The presence of Hmong settlements there is documented from the end of the 19th century. Initially, the Siamese paid little attention to them. But in the early 1950s, the state suddenly took a number of initiatives aimed at establishing links. Decolonization and nationalism were gaining momentum in the Peninsula and wars of independence were raging. Armed opposition to the state in northern Thailand, triggered by outside influence, started in 1967 while here again, much Hmong refused to take sides in the conflict. Communist guerrilla warfare stopped by 1982 as a result of an international concurrence of events that rendered it pointless. Priority is since given by the Thai state to sedentarizing the mountain population, introducing commercially viable agricultural techniques and national education, with the aim of integrating these non-Tai animists within the national identity.
In the United States
Many Hmong refugees resettled in the United States after the Vietnam War. Beginning in December 1975, the first Hmong refugees arrived in the U.S., mainly from refugee camps in Thailand; however, only 3,466 were granted asylum at that time under the Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1975. In May 1976, another 11,000 were allowed to enter the United States, and by 1978 some 30,000 Hmong people had immigrated. This first wave was made up predominantly of men directly associated with General Vang Pao's secret army. It was not until the passage of the Refugee Act of 1980 that families were able to enter the U.S., becoming the second wave of Hmong immigrants. Hmong families scattered across all 50 states but most found their way to each other, building large communities in California, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Hmong people have their own terms for their subcultural divisions. Hmong Der (Hmoob Dawb), and Hmong Leng (Hmoob Leeg) are the terms for two of the largest groups in the United States and Southeast Asia. These subgroups are also known as the White Hmong, and Blue or Green Hmong, respectively. These names originate from the color and designs of women's dresses in each respective group, with the White Hmong distinguished by the white dresses women wear on special occasions, and the Blue/Green Hmong by the blue batiked dresses that the women wear. The name and pronunciation "Hmong" is exclusively used by the White Hmong to refer to themselves, and many dictionaries use only the White Hmong dialect.
In the Romanized Popular Alphabet, developed in the 1950s in Laos, these terms are written Hmoob Dawb (White Hmong) and Hmoob Leeg (Green Hmong). The final consonants indicate with which of the eight lexical tones the word is pronounced.
White Hmong and Green Hmong speak mutually intelligible dialects of the Hmong language, with some differences in pronunciation and vocabulary. One of the most characteristic differences is the use of the voiceless /m̥/ in White Hmong, indicated by a preceding "H" in Romanized Popular Alphabet. Voiceless nasals are not found in the Green Hmong dialect. Hmong groups are often named after the dominant colors or patterns of their traditional clothing, style of head-dress, or the provinces from which they come.
Vietnam and Laos
The Hmong groups in Vietnam and Laos, from the 18th century to the present day, are known as Black Hmong (Hmoob Dub), Striped Hmong (Hmoob Txaij), White Hmong (Hmoob Dawb), Hmong Leng (Hmoob Leeg) and Green Hmong (Hmoob Ntsuab). In other places in Asia, groups are also known as Black Hmong (Hmoob Dub or Hmong Dou), Striped Hmong (Hmoob Txaij or Hmoob Quas Npab), Hmong Shi, Hmong Pe, Hmong Pua, and Hmong Xau, Hmong Xanh (Green Hmong), Hmong Do (Red Hmong), Na Mieo and various other subgroups. These include the Flower Hmong or the Variegated Hmong (Hmong Lenh or Hmong Hoa), so named because of their bright, colorful embroidery work (called pa ndau or paj ntaub, literally "flower cloth").
Usage of the term Miao in Chinese documents dates back to the Shi Ji (1st century BC) and the Zhan Guo Ce (late Western Han Dynasty). During this time, it was generally applied to people of the southern regions thought to be descendants of the San Miao kingdom (dated to around the 3rd millennium BC.) The term does not appear again until the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), by which time it had taken on the connotation of "barbarian", used to refer to one kind of indigenous people in the southern China who had not been assimilated into Han culture. During this time, references to "unfamiliar" and "familiar" Miao appear, referring to level of linguistical and religious assimilation and political cooperation to the Han Chinese.
This inconsistent usage of the word "Miao" makes it difficult to say for sure if the Hmong/Mong people are always included in these historical writings. Christian Culas and Jean Michaud note: "Until roughly the middle of the 19th century, there is perpetual confusion about the exact identity of the population groups designated by the term Miao. We should, therefore, be cautious with respect to the historical value of any early associations."
Linguistic evidence, however, places the Hmong/Mong people in the same regions of southern China that they inhabit today for at least the past 2,000 years, which means that they might not be descendants of tribes living in the yellow river plain. By the mid-18th century, classifications become specific enough that it is easier to identify references to the Hmong/Mong people.
In Southeast Asia, Hmong people are referred to by other names, including: Vietnamese: Mèo, Mông or H'Mông; Lao: ແມ້ວ (Maew) or ມົ້ງ (Mong); Thai: แม้ว (Maew) or ม้ง (Mong); Burmese: မုံလူမျိုး (mun lu-myo).
A recent DNA research in Thailand found that Hmong paternal lineage is quite different from those lu Mien and other Southeast Asian tribes. The Hmong-Mien and Sino-Tibetan speaking people are known as hill tribes in Thailand; they were the subject of the first studies to show an impact of patrilocality vs. matrilocality on patterns of mitochondrial (mt) DNA vs. male-specific portion of the Y chromosome (MSY) variation. However, Hmong-Mien and Sino-Tibetan people have not been studied in as much detail as other Thai groups; here we report and analyze 234 partial MSY sequences (∼2.3 mB) and 416 complete mtDNA sequences from 14 populations that, when combined with our previous published data, provides the largest dataset yet for the hill tribes. We find a striking difference between Hmong and Mien people: the Hmong people is genetically different from both the Mien and all other Thai people, whereas the Mien is genetically more similar to other linguistic groups than to the Hmong. In general, we find less of an impact of patrilocality vs. matrilocality on patterns of mtDNA vs. MSY variation than previous studies. However, there is a dramatic difference in the frequency of MSY and mtDNA lineages of Northeast Asian origin or Southeast Asian origin in Hmong-Mien and Sino-Tibetan people: Hmong-Mien people have high frequencies of Northeast Asian MSY lineages but lower frequencies of Northeast Asian mtDNA lineages, while Sino-Tibetan people have the opposite genetic composition. A potential explanation is that the ancestors of Hmong-Mien people in Thailand were patrilocal, while the ancestors of Sino-Tibetan people in Thailand were matrilocal. 
The examples and perspective in this section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (February 2018)
When Western authors first came in contact with Hmong people in the 18th century, they referred to them by writing ethnonyms which were previously assigned to them by the Chinese (i.e., Miao, or variants). This practice continued into the 20th century. Even ethnographers studying the Hmong people in Southeast Asia often referred to them as Meo, a corruption of Miao applied by Thai and Lao people to the Hmong. Although "Meo" was an official term, it was often used as an insult against the Hmong people, and it is considered to be derogatory.[better source needed]
The issue came to a head during the passage of California State Assembly Bill (AB) 78, in the 2003–2004 season.[better source needed] Introduced by Doua Vu and Assembly Member Sarah Reyes, District 31 (Fresno), the bill encouraged changes in secondary education curriculum to include information about the Secret War and the role of Hmong people in the war. Furthermore, the bill called for the use of oral histories and first-hand accounts by Hmong people who had participated in the war and were caught up in its aftermath. Originally, the language of the bill mentioned only "Hmong" people, intending to include the entire community. Several Mong Leng activists, led by Dr. Paoze Thao (Professor of Linguistics and Education at California State University, Monterey Bay), drew attention to the problems associated with omitting "Mong" from the language of the bill. They noted that despite nearly equal numbers of Hmong Der and Mong Leng in the United States, resources are disproportionately allocated to the Hmong Der community. This not only includes scholarly research, it also includes the translation of materials, including the curriculum which was proposed by the bill. Despite these arguments, "Mong" was not added to the bill. In the version of the bill which was passed by the assembly, "Hmong" was replaced by "Southeast Asians," a broader and more inclusive term.
Dr. Paoze Thao and some others strongly feel that "Hmong" can only be used in reference to Hmong Der people because it does not include "Mong" Leng people. He feels that the use of "Hmong" in reference to both groups perpetuates the marginalization of the Mong Leng language and culture. Thus, he advocates the use of "Hmong" and "Mong" in reference to the entire ethnic group. Other scholars, including anthropologist Dr. Gary Yia Lee (a Hmong Der person), suggests that for the past 30 years, "Hmong" has been used in reference to the entire community and as a result, the inclusion of Mong Leng people is understandable.[better source needed] Some argue that such distinctions create unnecessary divisions within the global community and they also argue that the use of these same distinctions will only confuse non-Hmong and Mong people who are both trying to learn more about Hmong and Mong history and culture.
As a compromise alternative, multiple iterations of "Hmong" have been proposed. A Hmong theologian, Rev. Dr. Paul Joseph T. Khamdy Yang has proposed the use of the term “HMong” in reference to the Hmong and the Mong communities by capitalizing the H and the M. The ethnologist Jacques Lemoine has also begun to use the term (H)mong in reference to the entirety of the Hmong and Mong communities.
Hmong and Miao
Some non-Chinese Hmong advocate that the term Hmong be used not only for designating their dialect group citation needed] They generally claim that the word "Miao" or "Meo" is a derogatory term, with connotations of barbarism, that probably should not be used at all. The term was later adopted by Tai-speaking groups in Southeast Asia where it took on especially insulting associations for Hmong people despite its official status.[
In modern China, the term "Miao" does not carry these negative associations and people of the various sub-groups that constitute this officially recognized nationality freely identify themselves as Miao or Chinese, typically reserving more specific ethnonyms for intra-ethnic communication. During the struggle for political recognition after 1949, it was members of these ethnic minorities who campaigned for identification under the umbrella term "Miao" – taking advantage of its familiarity and associations of historical political oppression.
Contemporary transnational interactions between Hmong in the West and Miao groups in China, following the 1975 Hmong diaspora, have led to the development of a global Hmong identity that includes linguistically and culturally related minorities in China that previously had no ethnic affiliation. Scholarly and commercial exchanges, increasingly communicated via the Internet, have also resulted in an exchange of terminology, including some Hmong people accepting the designation "Miao" after visiting China and some nationalist non-Hmong Miao peoples identifying as Hmong. Such realignments of identity, while largely the concern of economically elite community leaders reflects a trend towards the interchangeability of the terms "Hmong" and "Miao."
Roughly 95% of the Hmong live in Asia. Linguistic data show that the Hmong of the Peninsula stem from the Miao of southern China as one among a set of ethnic groups belonging to the Hmong–Mien language family. Linguistically and culturally speaking, the Hmong and the other sub-groups of the Miao have little in common.
Vietnam, where their presence is attested from the late 18th century onwards and characterized with both assimilation, cooperation and hostility, is likely to be the first Indochinese country into which the Hmong migrated. At the 2019 national census, there were 1,393,547 Hmong living in Vietnam, the vast majority of them in the north of the country. The traditional trade in coffin wood with China and the cultivation of the Opium Poppy – both prohibited only in 1993 in Vietnam – long guaranteed a regular cash income. Today, converting to cash cropping is the main economic activity. As in China and Laos, there is a certain degree of participation of Hmong in the local and regional administration. In the late 1990s, several thousands of Hmong started moving to the Central Highlands and some crossed the border into Cambodia, constituting the first attested presence of Hmong settlers in that country.
In 2015, the Hmong in Laos numbered 595,028. Hmong settlement there is nearly as ancient as in Vietnam.
After the 1975 Communist victory, thousands of Hmong from Laos had to seek refuge abroad (see Laos below). Approximately 30 percent of the Hmong left, although the only concrete figure we have is that of 116,000 Hmong from Laos and Vietnam together seeking refuge in Thailand up to 1990.
In 2002 the Hmong in Thailand numbered 151,080.
As result of refugee movements in the wake of the Indochina Wars (1946–1975), in particular, in Laos, the largest Hmong community to settle outside Asia went to the United States where approximately 100,000 individuals had already arrived by 1990. By the same date, 10,000 Hmong had migrated to France, including 1,400 in French Guyana. Canada admitted 900 individuals, while another 360 went to Australia, 260 to China, and 250 to Argentina. Over the following years and until the definitive closure of the last refugee camps in Thailand in 1998, additional numbers of Hmong have left Asia, but the definitive figures are still to be produced.
In the rest of the world, where about 5% of the world Hmong population now lives, the United States is home to the largest Hmong population. The 2008 Census counted 171,316 people solely of Hmong ancestry, and 221,948 persons of at least partial Hmong ancestry. Other countries with significant populations include:
Hmong people in Vietnam today are perceived very differently between various political organizations and changed throughout times. The Hmong people of Vietnam are a small minority and because of this, their loyalty toward the Vietnamese state has also been under question. Nonetheless, most Hmong people in Vietnam are fiercely loyal to the Vietnamese state, regardless of the current ideologies of the government with only those minorities supportive of Hmong resistance in Laos and Cambodia. These are mostly Hmong Christians who have fallen under target and poverty strike by alienation of all three Indochinese governments, since there has been no Hmong armed separatism in the country. The Hmong people in Vietnam also receive cultural and political promotion from the government alike. This unique feature distanced Hmong Vietnamese from Hmong Laotian, as their Laotian cousins are strongly anti-Vietnamese due to the Secret War and Communism.
There are 595,028 Hmong people in Laos. They mainly live in northern regions of Laos.
The Hmong presence in Thailand dates back, according to most authors, to the turn of the 20th century when families migrated from China through Laos and Burma. A relatively small population, they still settled dozens of villages and hamlets throughout the northern provinces. The Hmong were then registered by the state as the Meo hill tribe. Then, more Hmong migrated from Laos to Thailand following the victory of the Pathet Lao in 1975. While some ended up in refugee camps, others settled in mountainous areas among more ancient Hill Tribes.
Many Hmong refugees resettled in the United States after the Vietnam War. Beginning in December 1975, the first Hmong refugees arrived in the U.S., mainly from refugee camps in Thailand; however, only 3,466 were granted asylum at that time under the Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1975. In May 1976, another 11,000 were allowed to enter the United States, and by 1978 some 30,000 Hmong people had immigrated. This first wave was made up predominantly of men directly associated with General Vang Pao's secret army. It was not until the passage of the Refugee Act of 1980 that families were able to enter the U.S., becoming the second wave of Hmong immigrants. Hmong families scattered across all 50 states but most found their way to each other, building large communities in California, Minnesota and Wisconsin. As of the 2010 census, 260,073 Hmong people reside in the United States the majority of whom live in California (91,224), Minnesota (66,181), and Wisconsin (49,240), an increase from 186,310 in 2000. Of them, 247,595 or 95.2% are Hmong alone, and the remaining 12,478 are mixed Hmong with some other ethnicity or race. The vast majority of part-Hmong are under 10 years old.
There are smaller Hmong communities scattered across the United States, including those in Minnesota (Rochester, Mankato, Duluth) Michigan (Detroit and Warren); Anchorage, Alaska; Denver, Colorado; Portland, Oregon; Washington; North Carolina (Charlotte, Morganton); South Carolina (Spartanburg); Georgia (Auburn, Duluth, Monroe, Atlanta, and Winder); Florida (Tampa Bay); Wisconsin (Madison, Eau Claire, Appleton, Green Bay, Milwaukee, Oshkosh, La Crosse, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, and Wausau); Aurora, Illinois; Kansas City, Kansas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Missoula, Montana; Des Moines, Iowa; Springfield, Missouri; Arkansas, Fitchburg, Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island.
There is also a small community of several thousand Hmong who migrated to French Guiana in the late 1970s and early 1980s, that can be mainly found in the Hmong villages of Javouhey (1200 individuals) and Cacao (950 individuals).
Some Laos- and Vietnam-based Hmong Animists and Christians, including Protestant and Catholic believers, have been subjected to military attacks, police arrest, imprisonment, forced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, and torture on anti-religious grounds.
One example is the deportation of Zoua Yang and her 27 children from Thailand in December 19, 2005, after the group was arrested attending a Christian church in Ban Kho Noi, Phetchabun Province, Thailand. Upon return to Laos, Ms. Yang and her children were detained, after which the whereabouts of much of the family are still unknown.
Another example, which occurred in 2013, involved a Hmong Christian pastor, Vam Ngaij Vaj (Va Ngai Vang), who was beaten to death by Vietnamese police and security forces. In February 2014, in Hanoi, Vietnamese government officials refused to allow medical treatment for a Hmong Christian leader, Duong Van Minh, who was suffering from a serious kidney illness. In 2011, Vietnam People's Army troops were used to crush a peaceful demonstration by Hmong Catholic, Protestant and Evangelical Christian believers who gathered in Dien Bien Province and the Dien Bien Phu area of northwestern Vietnam, according to Philip Smith of the Center for Public Policy Analysis, independent journalists and others.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has documented official and ongoing religious persecution, religious freedom violations against the Laotian and Hmong people in both Laos and Vietnam by the governments. In April 2011, the Center for Public Policy Analysis also researched and documented cases of Hmong Christians being attacked and summarily executed, including four Lao Hmong Christians.
Noteworthy Hmong athlete
Sunisa “Suni” Lee of Saint Paul, Minnesota is a three time Olympic medalist in artistic gymnastics. In the 2020 Summer Olympics, Lee won silver in the women’s artistic team all-around, followed by gold in the women’s artistic individual all-around and bronze in the women’s uneven bars. With these results, Sunisa made history as both the first Hmong-American to compete in the Olympics in any sport and the first Hmong-American to win an Olympic medal.
- Chi You, (Huab Tais Txiv Yawg) a noted ancestor of the Hmong People
- Hmong churches
- Hmong cuisine
- Hmong customs and culture
- Hmong funeral
- Hmong music
- Hmong textile art
- Indochina refugee crisis
- Wangyee Vang
- Vang Pobzeb
- Vang Pao
- List of Hmong people
- Long Tieng
- Sheboygan Hmong Memorial
- The Art of Not Being Governed
- Lemoine, Jacques (2005). "What is the actual number of (H)mong in the world?" (PDF). Hmong Studies Journal. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
- "Report on Results of the 2019 Census". General Statistics Office of Vietnam. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
- "Results of Population and Housing Census 2015" (PDF). Lao Statistics Bureau. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
- "ABS Census – ethnicity". Retrieved 2012-06-07.
- "Hmong's new lives in Caribbean". 2004-03-10. Retrieved 2014-03-11.
- Canada. "Census Profile, 2016 Census".
- "UNPO: Hmong". unpo.org. 17 July 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
- Hamilton-Merritt, Jane. Tragic Mountains.
- Bomar, Julie. "Hmong History and Culture." Kinship networks among Hmong-American refugees. New York: LFB Scholarly Pub., 2004. 33–39. Print.
- Ratliff, Martha. "Vocabulary of Environment and Subsistence in Proto-language," p. 160.
- Bo Wen, et al. "Genetic Structure of Hmong–Mien Speaking Populations in East Asia as Revealed by mtDNA Lineages." Molecular Biology and Evolution 2005 22(3): 725–34.
- De la Cadena, Marisol. Starn, Orin. Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.  (2007). Indigenous experience today. Berg Publishers, 2007. ISBN 978-1-84520-519-5. p. 239.
- "國語•楚語下". Retrieved 23 April 2018.
- Cai, Xiaoyun; Qin, Zhendong; Wen, Bo; Xu, Shuhua; Wang, Yi; Lu, Yan; Wei, Lanhai; Wang, Chuanchao; Li, Shilin; Huang, Xingqiu; Jin, Li; Li, Hui; Consortium, the Genographic (31 August 2011). "Human Migration through Bottlenecks from Southeast Asia into East Asia during Last Glacial Maximum Revealed by Y Chromosomes". PLOS ONE. 6 (8): e24282. Bibcode:2011PLoSO...624282C. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024282. PMC 3164178. PMID 21904623.
- Culas and Michaud, 68–74.
- Rogers, 2004 p. 225.
- Michaud, J. (1 April 2000). "The Montagnards and the State in Northern Vietnam from 1802 to 1975: A Historical Overview". Ethnohistory. 47 (2): 333–68. doi:10.1215/00141801-47-2-333. S2CID 162363204. ProQuest 209752840.
- Michaud, J. et al. 2016 The Historical Dictionary of the Peoples of the Southeast Asian Massif. Rowman & Littlefield, pp. 177–80.
- Grant Evans "Laos is getting a bad rap from the world's media" The Bangkok Post 08 July 2003
- "Being Hmong Means Being Free" Wisconsin Public Television
- Warner, Roger, Shooting at the Moon, (1996), p. 366.
- Hmong National Development, Inc. "The State of the Hmong American Community 2013" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
- Lao Veterans of America, Inc., (LVA) Washington, D.C. Archived 2016-12-27 at the Wayback Machine
- Smalley, William Allen, Chia Koua Vang (Txiaj Kuam Vaj ), and Gnia Yee Yang (Nyiaj Yig Yaj ). Mother of Writing: The Origin and Development of a Hmong Messianic Script. University of Chicago Press, March 23, 1990. 10. Retrieved from Google Books on March 23, 2012 ISBN 978-0-226-76286-9.
- Not to be confused with the Thai royal title Chao Fa.
- Jonathan Tucker (Spring 2001). "The Yellow Rain Controversy: Lessons for Arms Control Compliance" (PDF). The Nonproliferation Review.
- Kinchen, David (2006-11-17). "438 former 'Cob Fab' removed by helicopter after they came out of hiding". Hmong Today. Archived from the original on 2007-02-22. Retrieved 2007-03-22.
- "Laos agrees to voluntary repatriation of refugees in Thailand," U.P.I., June 5, 1991.
- "Lao Refugees Return Home Under European Union Repatriation Program," Associated Press Worldstream, 22 11, 1994. Karen J, "House Panel Hears Concerns About Hmong," States News Service, April 26, 1994.
- Hamilton-Merritt, Jane. Tragic Mountains. pp. xix–xxi.
- "centerforpublicpolicyanalysis.org". April 6, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-04-06.
- Lao Veterans of America, Inc., (LVA), Washington, D.C. Archived 2016-12-27 at the Wayback Machine
- Reports on results of investigations of allegations concerning the welfare of Hmong refugees and asylum seekers in Thailand and Laos Refugee and Migration Affairs Unit, United States Embassy (Thailand), 1992. Retrieved 2007-07-27
- Steve Gunderson, "State Department Outlines Resettlement Guidelines for Hmong Refugees," Congressional Press Releases, May 18, 1996.
- "Laos refuses to take back Thai-based Hmong refugees," Deutsche Presse-Agentur, August 20, 1998.
- Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, January 16, 2004, archived January 17, 2009 from the original
- History of the Hmong Resettlement Task Force at the Wayback Machine (archived October 21, 2008) Hmong Resettlement Task Force, archived October 21, 2008 from the original
- "Hmong refugees pleading to stay". BBC News. July 28, 2005. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
- Thailand: EU Presidency Declaration on the situation of Hmong refugees Archived 2010-03-12 at the Wayback Machine EU@UN, February 1, 2007
- Hmong refugees facing removal from Thailand at the Wayback Machine (archived October 13, 2007) The Wire – Amnesty International's monthly magazine, March 2007, archived October 13, 2007 from the original
- Deportation of Hmong Lao refugees stopped in last minute Archived February 24, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker, January 30, 2007
- Hmong: UNHCR Protests Refugee Deportation Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, February 5, 2007
- Walsh, Denny. Ten accused of conspiring to oust government of Laos at the Wayback Machine (archived April 27, 2008) The Sacramento Bee, June 5, 2007, archived April 27, 2008 from the original
- Magagnini, Stephen and Walsh, Denny. Hmong Rally for 'The General' at the Wayback Machine (archived December 13, 2007) The Sacramento Bee, June 19, 2007, archived December 13, 2007 from the original
- U.S. Drops Case Against Exiled Hmong Leader The New York Times, September 18, 2009
- "Charges dropped against 12 Hmong men accused in plot to overthrow Laotian government". Los Angeles Times. January 10, 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-15.
- Tapp, Nicholas, 1989 Sovereignty and Rebellion. Oxford.[page needed]
- Cooper, Robert G. 1984 Resource scarcity and the Hmong response. Singapore University Press, Singapore.[page needed]
- Cohen, Eric (2000). The Commercialized Crafts of Thailand. University of Hawai'i Press. p. 54. ISBN 0-8248-2297-8.
- Vang, Xee. "The Hmong Language" (PDF).
- Tapp, Nicholas (2002). "Cultural Accommodations in Southwest China: The "Han Miao" and Problems in the Ethnography of the Hmong" (PDF). Asian Folklore Studies. 61 (1): 78. doi:10.2307/1178678. JSTOR 1178678.
- "Flower Hmong: Preserving Traditional Culture in Vietnam". Ten Thousand Villages. 2010. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
- Culas, Christian and Jean Michaud. "A Contribution to the Study of Hmong (Miao)." In: Hmong/Miao in Asia. Ed. Nicholas Tapp, et al. Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books, 2004: 64.
- Ratliff, Martha. "Vocabulary of environment and subsistence in the Hmong–Mien Proto-Language." in Hmong/Miao in Asia. p. 160.
- Tapp, Nicholas (2002). "Cultural Accommodations in Southwest China: The "Han Miao" and Problems in the Ethnography of the Hmong" (PDF). Asian Folklore Studies. 61 (1): 77–104. doi:10.2307/1178678. JSTOR 1178678. ProQuest 224529908.
- Kutanan, Wibhu; Shoocongdej, Rasmi; Srikummool, Metawee; Hübner, Alexander; Suttipai, Thanatip; Srithawong, Suparat; Kampuansai, Jatupol; Stoneking, Mark (20 July 2020). "Cultural variation impacts paternal and maternal genetic lineages of the Hmong-Mien and Sino-Tibetan groups from Thailand". European Journal of Human Genetics. 28 (11): 1563–79. doi:10.1038/s41431-020-0693-x. PMC 7576213. PMID 32690935.
- Graham, David Crockett (1954). Songs and Stories of the Ch'uan Miao. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections. 123, 1. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.
- Lee, Mai Na (1998). "The Thousand-Year Myth: Construction and Characterization of Hmong". Hmong Studies Journal. 2 (2). Archived from the original on 26 May 2005. Retrieved 10 September 2008.
- History of the Assembly Bill AB78 by Kao-Ly Yang Archived 27 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- Romney, Lee. "Bill spurs bitter debate over Hmong identity." L.A. Times, 24 May 2003.
- Thao, Paoze and Chimeng Yang. "The Mong and the Hmong". Mong Journal, vol. 1 (June 2004). Archived 4 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine
- Lee, Gary and Nicholas Tapp. "Current Hmong Issues: 12-point Statement".
- Duffy, John, Roger Harmon, Donald A. Ranard, Bo Thao, and Kou Yang. "People Archived 2012-09-16 at the Wayback Machine". In The Hmong: An Introduction to their history and culture. The Center for Applied Linguistics, Culture Profile No. 18 (June 2004): 3.
- Cheung Siu-Woo "Miao Identity in Western Guizhou: Indigenism and the politics of appropriation in the southwest china during the republican period" in Hmong or Miao in Asia. 237–40.
- Schien, Louisa. "Hmong/Miao Transnationality: Identity Beyond Culture." in Hmong or Miao in Asia. 274–75.
- Lee, Gary Y. Dreaming Across the Oceans: Globalization and Cultural Reinvention in the Hmong Diaspora Archived 2007-03-07 at the Wayback Machine. Hmong Studies Journal, 7:1–33.
- Ratliff and Niederer, in Tapp, Michaud, Culas and Lee, Hmong/Miao in Asia, Silkworm Press, 2004
- Tapp, N. 2001, Hmong in China. Brill[page needed]
- Culas and Michaud, 2004, in Tapp, Michaud, Culas and Lee, Hmong/Miao in Asia. SIlkworm.
- Bonnin, Christine. Markets in the mountains: upland trade-scapes, trader livelihoods, and state development agendas in northern Vietnam (Thesis).
- "Results of Population and Housing Census 2015" (PDF). Lao Statistics Bureau. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
- Culas and Michaud 2004
- Michaud et al. 2016
- Culas and Michaud 2004.
- 2008 Southeast Asian American Data from the American Community Survey (Released Fall 2009)
- Lemoine. "What is the number of the (H)mong in the world."
- Pfeifer, Mark (compiler). University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire"Hmong Population Research Project – Population". Archived from the original on 2008-07-25. Retrieved 2011-08-07. archived July 25, 2008 from the original Archived August 22, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- Pike, Matthew. "The History of Vietnam's Hmong Community". Culture Trip. Retrieved 2020-01-20.
- "Hmong Catholics keep faith in Vietnam despite hardship – UCA News".
- "Hmong People in Vietnam". vietnamroyaltourism.com.
- Baird, Ian G. (2013). The monks and the Hmong: The special relationship between the Chao Fa and the Tham Krabok Buddhist Temple in Saraburi Province, Thailand. In Vladimir Tikhonov and Torkel Brekke (eds.), Violent Buddhism – Buddhism and Militarism in Asia in the Twentieth Century. London: Routledge. pp. 120–151.
- Bureau, US Census. "Census.gov". Census.gov.
- "Census Bureau Homepage". Census.gov. 2012-05-25. Retrieved 2012-06-08.
- "Rhode Island's Hmong-Lao community to mark 40 years of resettlement". The Providence Journal. 8 May 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
- Canada, Government of Canada, Statistics (8 May 2013). "2011 National Household Survey Profile – Census subdivision".
- The Hmong, 1987–1995: A Selected and Annotated Bibliography, Diane Publishing
- "Info about the Hmong in French Guyana – KaYing Yang, Hmong Cultural Center, 1994". 2007-09-01. Archived from the original on 2007-09-01. Retrieved 2012-06-08.
- "Laos, Vietnam Troops Execute 4 Hmong Christians" (Press release). Center for Public Policy Analysis. 16 April 2011 – via Scoop News.
Laotian and Hmong minority Christian and Animist believers continue to be hunted, brutally tortured, and killed by the Lao military in significant numbers in key provinces in Laos.
- "H.Res. 992 (115th): Condemning the actions taken by the Lao People's Democratic Republic against the Hmong ChaoFa Indigenous people, and for other purposes" – via GovTrack.
- Correspondent, Our Vietnam (28 March 2013). "Hmong Christian Leader in Vietnam Beaten to Death in Police Custody, Sources Say". Morningstar News.
- "Hanoi Hospitals Refuse Treatment to Ailing Hmong Christian Leader". Radio Free Asia.
- "Agence France Press (AFP), (6 May 2011) "Vietnam troops 'use force' at rare Hmong protest"".
- "Agence France Press (AFP), (15 April 2011) "Laos, Vietnam troops kill four Hmong Christians: NGO"".
- Rob Mentzer (July 29, 2021). "Hmong Community Rejoices As Sunisa Lee Becomes First Hmong American Gold Medalist". Wisconsin Public Radio.
- Fadiman, Anne (1997). The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 0-374-26781-2.
- Forbes, Andrew, and Henley, David, 'Chiang Mai's Hill Peoples' in: Ancient Chiang Mai Volume 3. Chiang Mai: Cognoscenti Books, 2012. ASIN B006IN1RNW.
- Hillmer, Paul. A People’s History of the Hmong (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2010). 327 pages. ISBN 978-0-87351-726-3.
- [TYPN 1992] The section on nomenclature draws heavily on Thai-Yunnan Project Newsletter, Number 17, June 1992, Department of Anthropology, Australian National University. Material from that newsletter may be freely reproduced with due acknowledgment.
- W.R. Geddes. Migrants of the Mountains: The Cultural Ecology of the Blue Miao (Hmong Njua) of Thailand. Oxford, England: The Clarendon Press, 1976.
- Tapp, N., J.Michaud, C.Culasc, G.Y.Lee (Eds.) (2004). Hmong/Miao in Asia. Chiang Mai (Thailand): Silkworm. 500 pages.
- Vang, Chia Youyee. Hmong America: Reconstructing Community in Diaspora (University of Illinois Press; 2011) 200 pages; Combines scholarly and personal perspectives in an ethnographic history of the Hmong refugee experience in the United States.
- “Hmong in Minnesota”. Minnesota Historical Society, Explore Minnesota.
- Edkins, The Miau-tsi Tribes. Foochow: 1870.
- Henry, Lingnam. London: 1886.
- Bourne, Journey in Southwest China. London: 1888.
- A. H. Keaw, Man: Past and Present. Cambridge: 1900.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. .
- Johnson, Charles. Dab Neeg Hmoob: Myths, Legends and Folk Tales from the Hmong of Laos. St. Paul, Minnesota: Macalester College, 1983. – bilingual oral literature anthology, includes introduction and explanatory notes from a language professor who had sponsored the first Hmong family to arrive in Minnesota
- Lee, Mai Na M. "The Thousand-Year Myth: Construction and Characterization of Hmong." (Archive) Hmong Studies Journal. v2n2. Northern hemisphere Spring 1998.
- Meneses, Rashaan. "Hmong: An Endangered People." UCLA International Institute.
- Merritt, Tragic Mountains: The Hmong, the Americans, and the Secret Wars for Laos, 1942–1992. Indiana: 1999.
- Mottin, Father Jean. History of the Hmong. Bangkok: Odeon Store, 1980. written in Khek Noi, a Hmong village in northern Thailand, Translated into English by an Irish nun, printed in Bangkok.
- Quincy, Keith. Hmong: History of a People. Cheney, Wash.: Eastern Washington University Press, 1988.
- Savina, F.M. Histoire des Miao. 2nd Edition. Hong Kong: Impremerie de la Société des Missions-Etrangères de Paris, 1930. Written by a French missionary who worked in Laos and Tonkin.
- George, William Lloyd. "Hmong Refugees Live in Fear in Laos and Thailand." TIME. Saturday July 24, 2010.
- Hookaway, James. "Thai Army Forces Out Refugees." The Wall Street Journal. December 28, 2009.
- Laotian and Hmong veterans and refugee families of the Lao Veterans of America, Inc.
- Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) in Washington, D.C. Hmong human rights, religious persecution/ religious freedom violations and refugee issues
- Hmong-related web sites edited by Mark Pfeifer of the Hmong Cultural Center.
- Laos & Hmong Refugee Crisis & human rights violations against Hmong people in Southeast Asia, Centre for Public Policy Analysis, Washington, D.C.
- Publications list
- Hmong Studies Internet Resource Center Archived 2013-05-18 at the Wayback Machine
- Hmong culture studies Archived 2012-03-19 at the Wayback Machine multimedia educational content
- Hmong history and culture articles by Hmong Australian anthropologist, Dr. Gary Yia Lee
- Hmong Contemporary Issues by Hmong French anthropologist and linguist, Dr. Kao-Ly Yang (English, French, and Hmong languages)
- Being Hmong Means Being Free Wisconsin Public Television
- Learn about Hmong People & Culture
- Hmong Culture