The History & Culture of The Hmong Hilltribe

By | September 4, 2013

Hmong Hill Tribes, Northern Thailand

There are in the region of 110,000 Hmong people located in northern Thailand they originated from Western China, Siberia, Tibet and Mongolia where they started to migrate from during the early 19th century.

They generally live in houses that sit right on the ground, not on stilts as do some other hilltribes,however, the main floor of their houses is not at ground level, but rests upon a kind of above-ground basement or root cellar that they use for food storage.

For a long time the Hmong have supported themselves by the cultivation of opium poppy.Most of their people are now turning from opium growing, and are now seeking to market their exquisite needlework in order to supplement their income.

Hmong Hill Tribes, Northern Thailand

The women of the tribe traditionally make clothing for their families from cotton or hemp. Their clothing is richly decorated with magnificent embroidery and silver jewelry. The men make crossbows, musical instruments, and other items of wood, bamboo and rattan.Many of the men are also skilled as both blacksmith’s and gunsmith’s.

The Hmong are strict animists (spirit worshippers), whose shamans use dramatic methods to contact the spirits.

So far there have been few converts to Christianity or Buddhism.They are diligent and independent people, fond of wearing their silver ornaments during ceremonies and much devoted to the sky spirit they believe has created their own ancient way of life.