Revealing Mien Culture Through Artifacts Essay

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I am Mien American. I am Iu-Mien. This is my culture.
The Mien have many names. We have been called (Yao) “Barbarians” by the Chinese, “minyua-Choua” by the Hmong, the hill-tribe people by the National Geographic’s investigators, & countless other names I cannot digest on this paper. The culture is based off of a patriarchal view, and consists of spiritual awareness, and are led by Shamans who have an archaic ritualistic view of death, marriage, birth, and when someone gets sick. They are also hunters and gatherers and are farmers. Some forty years ago, the Mien were a self-sufficient body of people who lived in the mountains of Laos and Thailand. They were thriving in the rainforests of Southeast Asia. In retrospect, my people lived like …show more content…

During a marriage, it is said that it is used to declare to the heavens and underworld, that the two consenting couples are ready to be one. I believe this was more symbolic to the relatives who has attended the wedding, but in the “spiritual world”, the horn puts a stamp on the marriage. In the case of a funeral, the procession usually takes 3 days and sometimes longer. The Mien culture have their own “way to get to heaven” and it involves the “tchaong”. The tchaong is used during a shaman’s funeral procession and used to open the doors to heaven. The shaman does his chants to the heavens and ever-so-often, he pulls the horn and blows it loudly. The shaman lets out a bellowing blow that last for 20-30 seconds and varying rates. Just as he abruptly stops to blow the horn, he gets back into his chants and proceeds the funeral.

The third and final artifact is called a “soow”. Soow in Mien means book. The book is very significant. Among the following artifacts shown, the soow is the most important to any family because it contains the only form of writing that lists all of the ancestors who lived before you. In the book, it is the names of one’s grandfather, and his grandfather, and his grandfather, and so on because the Mien follow the patriarch of the family line. The books are made of old papyrus paper and feel brittle to the touch. The Mien people do not have their own alphabet, there is no ABC’s, no 1,2,3’s, and no Dr. Suess books in

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