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History Articles

Ethnic minorities and National building in Laos

At the beginning, they had only the words of ...
 

Minority policies and the Hmong in Laos

The Hmong first migrated to Laos from China and ....
 

Refugees from Laos (Updated)

The only land-locked country in South-East Asia, Laos covers an area of ...
 

Diaspora and the Predicament of Origins (New)

This paper deals with the search by the Hmong for their history and national identity...
 

 


History


This section contains articles on the origin of the Hmong people and the history of the Hmong in Laos.  Many books have been published on the so-called “secret war” that lasted from 1961 to 1973 in Laos.  Countless debates and discussions have also been conducted on the impact of the war, who did what, and whether there was a promise by the CIA to take care of the Hmong, the main recruits into its “secret army” there, should it lose the war.  There has been much historical revision and (mis)appropriation since the end of the war in 1975.  I have tried to be as objective as possible in depicting the events during this period or since the Hmong settlement in that small country.  

Three articles are devoted to this subject:

  • Ethnic Minorities and Nation-building in Laos: the Hmong in the Lao State - before 1975.

  • Minority Policies and the Hmong in Laos -  after 1975.

  • Refugees from Laos – newly updated (2008) on war refugees from the beginning of Lao history to the present time.

A  new article in this 2008 update, entitled “Diaspora and the Predicament of Origins”, tries to bring together the different theories about where the Hmong could have originated from.  For many years now, scholars have been asking questions about where the Hmong as an ethnic group could have come from. Missionaries have speculated that they originated from Mesopotamia (the origin of Biblical mankind) in the Middle East.  Others think they came from the North Pole and Siberia while some believe they migrated from Mongolia.  

The new article, based on new genetic and other researches, comes up with its own conclusion about the real geographical and historical origin of the Hmong, and the dilemma they face in coming to term with this origin.  It is a fascinating exploration of Hmong postcolonial history that focuses on ancient as well as contemporary issues found in China as well as the global Hmong diaspora.  

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