Association of College Professors of Textiles and Clothing. ; International Textile and Apparel Association.
Within performed ritual, Hmong Americans use dress as a medium to express a vision of cultural life responsive
to both their cultural past and their new American context. This article is a part of a larger research project focused
on the role of dress in the formulation of Hmong American cultural life. This paper focuses on how dress is used
within two different New Year performances to make sense of the position of the Hmong in America. Public and
private Hmong American New Year rituals are arenas wherein dress is used to express the struggle for reconciliation
between the older and younger generations, the old and new ways, and Hmong and American cultures.
Separate and differently focused New Year celebrations formally acknowledge the valued roles of Hmong elders as
links to the Hmong past and Hmong youth as links to an American future. Both celebrations incorporate a
recognition of the core problem of reconciling Hmong and American cultures. Both use dress to give voice to the
young and the old as they struggle for cultural definition in the United States.
Key words: ritual, material culture, Hmong, refugees
Lynch, A., Detzner, D.F. & Eicher, J.B. (1995). Hmong American New Year rituals: Generational bonds through dress. Clothing & Textiles Research journal, 13:2, pp.111-120.
Lynch, A.; Detzner, D.F.; Eicher, J.B..
Hmong American New Year rituals : Generational bonds through dress.
Association of College Professors of Textiles and Clothing. ; International Textile and Apparel Association..
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