Friday, February 10, 2006
The Hmong are a mountain tribe in Asia. During the Vietnam war, they were not only allies but very reliable guides thru the treacherous mountains to the US army. When the US soldiers moved out, the vietnamese armies turned on the Hmong and began to systematically anahilate them. The US recued many Hmong families and took as many as would come with them. Many who stayed suffered horribly in the hands of Vietnamese. Many made it to refugee camps in Tailand where they where able to get papers to leave Vietnam. Because of the monotonous nature of the refugee camps, camp organizers gathered people, especially women to tell their stories. They were asked to depict a day they would never forget. With donated fabric and threads they were able to create these embroidered war memories. This piece depicts a group of Hmong people (in black) fleeing their village just before the Vietnamese soldiers (in green) arrive. They cross the Mekong river with banboo canes under arm or with intertubes to find safety on the coast of Tailand. Lansing area has a large population of Hmong Americans.