Hmong Life in Laos
The Hmong migrated from southern China in the nineteenth century to the
mountainous areas of Laos, Vietnam and Thailand. During the Vietnam War
the Hmong worked with the American CIA in the "secret war" in Laos, and
therefore were forced to flee their homeland after the victory of the
communists. After spending time in refugee camps in Thailand, many
Hmong settled in the United States, with large concentrations in
California (ca. 75,000), Minnesota (ca. 40,000), and Wisconsin (ca. 40,000).
Have you ever wondered what life was like for a typical Hmong family in Laos?
The Hmong people were farmers, most living in small villages high in the
mountains. After helping the American CIA during the Vietnam War, the
Hmong people were forced to flee for their lives. Many were resettled in
the United States. The old way of life was very different from their new
way of life.
There are only two seasons in Laos, the rainy season and the dry season.
It is warm year around. Homes and other buildings are made of bamboo and
wood. There is no electricity for the mountain people, no machinery, and
no roads. The Hmong walk to their farms and carry home the produce.
All work is done by hand. They grow and make everything needed to sustain
Click on the links below to learn more about life in Laos.
A typical year in the life of a Hmong family
Hmong traditions such as Ball Tossing or Marriage