Sunday, January 04, 2009

Hmong in Minnesota

People go to the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory to see and to be seen. While I was there recently, a large party of Hmong people arrived in tribal dress and had a wonderful time being photographed. If you are not familiar with this ethnic group, here is some information.

Why the Hmong Came to Minnesota

The Hmong are an ethnic group living throughout mountainous regions of southeast Asia, in China, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. The Hmong have a distinct language and traditional customs. Most Hmong who have immigrated to Minnesota originally came from northern Laos.

The first Hmong families emigrated as refugees. During the Vietnam War, the U.S. recruited Hmong villagers and farmers to help fight its “secret war” against communists in Laos. At the war’s end, the communists sought revenge on the Hmong for aiding the United States. Tens of thousands of Hmong fled their homes on a perilous journey—many suffering injuries and losing family members along the way—and settled in refugee camps. Beginning in the late 1970s, the U.S. and other nations began resettling the Hmong; Minnesota was among the U.S. destinations. In 2004, the resettlement of several thousand additional Hmong refugees began in Minnesota.


More than 60,000 Hmong individuals live in Minnesota. At least half of those individuals live in St. Paul, making it home to the largest urban population of Hmong in the world.


  1. That was interesting to know !
    Thanks for the post!

    and thank you for many wishes for 2009, I wish you and your family all the best also for this new year.
    And keep blogging :)

  2. Some 30 thousand only in St. Paul! Then there should be many nice looking little girls like this wonderful one!

    Very interesting post!

  3. I remember a friend telling me this story around 15 years ago when I visted her in St. Paul. She has since moved here.

    What a beautiful little girl.

  4. I remember the story of the Hmong. When I lived in Mesa, AZ, there was a small group there. I still have some of their beautiful needlework.

  5. Anonymous10:10 AM

    I am glad you got to see and photograph these people. Interesting post.

  6. That little girl is precious. Wonderful photo.

    Wishing you all the best in 2009!

  7. Interesting, Kate. I'd heard of these people but didn't know much about them.
    That costume is absolutely stunning as is the little girl wearing it..

  8. I enjoy the added ethnicity, culture, and their cuisine. Still, I wonder why Minnesota and these cold Minnesota winters?

  9. I did watch the Clint Eastwood movie the other day.

  10. Hello, my name is Be, I am one of the women in the photo and the little girl is my daughter. My husband came upon this posting and the other and brought it to my attention. Thank you for sharing your experience on that day. It was a funfilled day for us, trying to catch a moment in time, as we all know, time goes by too fast, and it was wonderful that we were able to share that feeling with others on that day. We live in a world so full of diversity and beauty, thanks for sharing ours.

  11. Welcome to Minnesota Hmong people, although after one winter you are now native. Enjoy the lakes, clean air and green.


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