Reflections of Hmong History Through Tapestry

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Center for Hmong Studies
Start Date
November 2010
End Date
June 2011
Activity Type
Counties Affected
Project Overview

An interpretive exhibit, "Hmong History Through Textile", was created to show the relationship between Hmong history and the changing styles of traditional clothing and the "story cloth". Paj ntaub (flower cloth) is a form of textile artwork used to decorate women's skirts, men's collars and story cloths. The design of tradtional Hmong clothing identifies its wearer by familial, political, cultural and geographical connections.

After the Vietnam War, thousands of Hmong were displaced. Pre-war story cloths had geometric designs. Post-war women in refugee camps designed explicit depictions of political turmoil and real-life experiences. Eventually, there was a market outside of the Hmong community for these story cloths and the depictions shifted to folk tales.

The initial research for the exhibit was conducted by a professional exhibit development consultant. This consultant reviewed the literature, consulted with private collectors and museums and took a survey of institutions having Hmong artifacts, exhibits and/or relevant information.   Fifty seven artifacts to be used in the exhibit were cataloged and the information put in a spreadsheet by an intern. The exhibit was then designed and the mounts and  labels created for the artifact display.                                                                                                                                   The exhibit runs from September 15, 2011-January 15, 2012 at the Center for Hmong Studies at Concordia University.

Project Details
To hire a professional historian to document Hmong textiles in various repositories preparatory to an exhibit
Legal Citation / Subdivision
LAWS of MINNESOTA for 2009 Ch. 172, Art. 1, Subd. 4 (b), Statewide Historic and Cultural Grants
Appropriation Language

(b) Statewide Historic and Cultural Grants. (i) $2,250,000 in 2010 and $4,500,000 in 2011 are appropriated for history programs and projects operated or conducted by or through local, county, regional or other historical or cultural organizations; or for activities to preserve significant historic and cultural resources. Funds are to be distributed through a competitive grants process. The Minnesota Historical Society shall administer these funds using established grants mechanisms, and with assistance from the advisory committee created herein.

2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Other Funds Leveraged
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Pao Xiong
Street Address
275 North Syndicate Street
St. Paul
Zip Code
Administered By
Administered by

345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155