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Hmong hook up
Instead they found "90 like unemployment; a baffling wasting that has seen no of Hmong hook up men die in your sleep; violent features by other minorities who main refugees as rivals for flirty public assistance funds; mammoth rates of depression and effort. At the Helsinki River, the hours stop. The two participants-one of them, Pao Thao, the best of the war hookup were members of a huge Asian hill tribe, the Hmong, who, until a few types before, had been content in your tribal between, high in the mountains of Lovers. I had never aged anything like this on a mammoth. What I say here of the Hmong will loose true, broadly, for the Relationship too-the two principal concern tribes now in America. One of the hours includes this potential: The If Hmong women s partners have an individual-like front panel.
We bought from Laotian refugees a cloth That in war a woman sewed, Hmnog 7, triangles-mountain ranges changing colors with H'mong suns and seas. Sometimes caught from across the room, twilighted, the lace in the center smokes, and shadows move over the red background, Hmong hook up should shine. One refugee said, "This is old woman's design. Although in Laos colors Dating campinas obtained from natural dyes, here in America the Hmong are hoom impressed by the durability of Hmong hook up fabrics.
Hmog also proved willing to learn marketing. In the Thailand refugee camps, stripped of their occupations as farmers, poppy growers, soldiers, the Hmong men had few marketable skills. The women's prodigious skill at needlework, however, looked promising. The relief agencies running the camps set up CAMA Christian and Missionary AllianceMarsha MacDowell reports, to help the women gain some money and "leadership" skills, as well as to help them preserve memories of Hmong culture. At first the women, provided with materials, produced traditional objects and abstract designs, but CAMA encouraged them to make non-traditional-but marketable-products, like wall hangings and pillow covers.
The Hmong had worn this art, not hung it on walls. Later CAMA encouraged the women to stitch not only images of insects, say, to protect children, but images of village life back in the hills, or the animals and plants they'd known, or scenes from traditional legends. That would sell in the West. Photo by George J. The Hmong women embraced these ideas Money! In this hybrid American form melding their new life and their old skills, the Hmong women become recognizably Asian American.
Story cloths are a new hoko, an Asian American art. These charming folk stories are done by people who have heard all about Hming prices an American quilt can fetch. Some of what they now produce is kitsch, like latter day Amish art. A Tia Lee "Peaceable Kingdom," in which every kind of animal comes peacefully to the same waterhole together, contains a kangaroo-which Tia Lee never saw in Laos or California-and, for good measure, a baby-blue triceratops Fig. But even their attempts at Bible themes have integrity, since their struggle to comprehend the novel ideas always all through Southeast Asia the Communist victors embarked on genocidal campaigns of "ethnic cleansing.
The ethics of attention: unpacking “Yellow Rain”
Woman with belongings on her back, at river. Then the Americans left and the Pathet Lao took their revenge. On Pao Thao's cloth, a jet, afterburner glowing, swoops down on a thatched roof village, all its guns firing Fig. A giant helicopter hovers above the jungle Fig. Through the jungle comes a tank with the Communists' red flag, accompanied by soldiers in open transports, running riflemen, and the kneeling man firing his bazooka. Then the Hmong Exodus begins. As Wang Leng Vang told Viviano inseven men from his village went into the jungle and cut a trail through it to the Mekong River. It took almost a year to make a trail that would be only seven days' march long.
PaoThao's cloth shows the men, women, and children hiking through jungle so dense they could not be spotted and napalmed by the Communist forces - whom she always identified as "Russians," by the way. I have never seen any other reference to Russian involvement but she was adamant, and an eyewitness. That was her village's experience. Many Hmong died on the march, she said. The figures have an expression, on this and some other story cloths, that Greek historians call "the archaic smile. On another cloth, by Va Lee, she has omitted the mouths, and the figures are not improved by it.
At the Mekong River, the figures stop. The river, in the Hmong art I've seen, is represented by a pattern of white lines, much the way it is in Byzantine Art, and no accident. The thirteenth century artists at St. Mark's, in Venice-artists of symbolism and pattern, not imitation or illusion-had represented rivers Other radioactive dating methods that way-as when Jesus was baptized in the Jordan, or St. Mark traveled by boat.
The Renaissance interest in a picture as a window opening out onto three-dimensional space is only one way to think of a picture. The artists at St. Mark's and San Zeno thought of the picture plane as a two-dimensional surface filled with symbols. Such an art, Kenneth Clark once explained, will find its visual interest in the pattern one can make with the symbols, the combination of the colors and lines. Hmong art is not a naive art or a "folk" art. While we once condescended to artists who came from technologically inferior countries, it never made any real sense, discussing their art. While we once labeled any form a man made with paint on canvas "art," but called the same form "craft" if a woman made it in cloth, we do no longer.
Politics aside, it made no sense aesthetically. The final harrowing part of the journey consisted of the Hmong casting themselves into the Mekong, "swimming with bamboo sticks in our arms to make us float," asVang Hmong hook up, and trying to float down the river toThailand where they would be accepted into refugee camps. Pao Thao's village put people into inner tubes. She reveals her commitment to the pattern of colors here. The tubes were certainly black, but so were the costumes of her Hmong villagers. She makes the inner tubes, therefore, every bright candy color: And these rings of color, like fruit flavored Lifesavers, she wraps around the small black figures.
Pao Thao may have made this bold change because the tubes were their salvation: The cheerful colors make you feel the Hmong's happiness. It would be a great mistake to doubt the artist understood the effect such cheery colors would make; or to underestimate any of these women as artists. They had as much training in their tradition as any modern artist has ever had. Pao Thao's cloth story ends on the Mekong River. On a raft floating before the people in their Lifesaver-colored inner tubes, a little boy and girl sit comfortably, smiling, behind a man who has risen dangerously to his feet, in excitement, and is pointing forward, smiling, at something he can see and we can't, beyond the picture frame.
The Thai refugee camp? It's a fine, dramatic ending. Other cloths, like Va Lee's, continue the story. Va Lee shows the large communal housing of the refugee camps. An American official pulls up in a car with a light or a siren. The Hmong kneel before him and raise their hands to swear a loyalty oath Fig. Then they leave, in the back of an open truck, for the airplanes that will take them to the United States. A woman points forward, as in Pao Thao's cloth, toward something she can see and we can't. But the difference between Pao Thao's artistry and Va Lee's shows when we contrast the parallel final scenes.
We notice, now, the natural ease of the figures in Pao Thao's, the convincing way the children rest their arms on their knees, the way the girl's skirt bunches beneath her, narrowing its lines, the way the man lunges forward, pointing with his left hand. Some story cloths are as large as a quilt, filled with hundreds of figures. One tells the whole Leaving Story in terrifying detail, ending with a most American of happy endings. The small black figures board planes, fly to the United States, and in the last image, after enduring the battles, strafings, bombings, rockets, and forced marches stitched above, they sit happily, in the last panel, watching a giant television.
It is not a sentimental art. You suddenly understand how good it must feel, sometimes, to just sit there, safely, and watch the TV. We airlifted our old allies, the Hmong, out of the wretched disease-filled Thai camps to this country-then scattered them over two dozen states, to minimize the shock to any one state's welfare and support systems. Someone must have thought it sounded practical. The Hmong, who had survived everything, almost didn't survive our forced separation of their clans into nuclear families living thousands of miles apart.
From tropical forests they were sent to Minnesota winters. Once they'd collected their wits, and saved some cash, they began climbing onto Greyhound buses and bunching together in old cars like the Joads in The Grapes of Wrath and heading for California's Central Valley. There, since the early s, they have regathered, living incongruously among the Steinbeckian landscapes of Fresno and Arvin. Pao Thao was from Modesto, herself. Imagine, plunked down next to Tom Joad and George and Lenny, a preliterate Asian hill tribe that does needlework. California frequently lives up to its reputation for surrealism.
Census Bureau recorded 52, "Laotians" in the United States in -even by then, many of them Hmong, Mien, and other hill tribes. By that figure had reachedAt least 50, refugees sit in Thailand's camps, waiting for "chain immigration" to bring them to their relatives, now American citizens. It is not a happy ending, so far. As Frank Viviano reported back inthe Hmong had come to California expecting a chance to farm in the Central Valley. Instead they found "90 percent unemployment; a baffling disease that has seen scores of Hmong men die in their sleep; violent assaults by other minorities who regard refugees as rivals for shrinking public assistance funds; high rates of depression and suicide.
When fathers fall from heroes to bewildered welfare cases, boys turn to role models in gangs and the streets. I never met Pao Thao again, but I took a picture of her. So far, an interesting story about a scientific controversy. Radiolab interviews Eng Yang, a Hmong refugee who survived attacks in and eventually found safety in the US. Translated by his niece, award-winning author Kao Kalia Yang, Eng talks about his experiences fleeing yellow rain. Radiolab co-host Krulwich wants Eng to confront the narrative the show has uncovered about bee feces, and asks Eng Yang a set of questions about his knowledge and experience of the yellow rain: Were there always airplanes, then yellow rain?
Did he see it coming from airplanes? All of this is hearsay. Kao Kalia Yang, obviously on the verge of tears, accuses Krulwich of making semantic distinctions between the bombs dropped on the Hmong and chemical weapons, and of failing to listen to the accounts of people who survived these attacks, and ends the interview. Krulwich is not convinced. It was an interesting and, I think, admirable decision to include both the confrontation in the interview, and the discussion in the studio in the Radiolab broadcast. They miss and sometimes even obscure hugely important realities. He specifically addressed his most egregious statement, his accusation that Kao Kalia Yang was attempting to seize control of the story: Obviously, we at Radiolab had all the power in this situation, and to suggest otherwise was wrong.
Now Kao Kalia Yang has now offered her account of the experience on Hyphen, a magazine about Asian American experiences and perspectives. She explains that she and her uncle agreed to the interview because two New Yorker stories on yellow rain failed to include Hmong voices, and she wanted to help correct that disparity. She wrote responses to the show, which she tells us producer Pat Walters chose not to post online. One of the responses includes this passage: Only an imperialist white man can say that to a woman of color and call it objectivity or science.