By Yer J. Thao
In 1975, after years of fight, Communists seized keep an eye on of the govt of Laos. participants of the Mong tradition who had helped the U.S. significant Intelligence supplier of their quest to halt the unfold of Communism have been compelled to maneuver to the USA as political refugees. The Mong, with their robust tradition of oral traditions and ideology, have been plunged right into a multicultural society the place the written notice used to be popular. therefore, their oral customs at the moment are being slowly eroded and changed with a written culture. eager to carry directly to their cultural identification and proceed the traditions in their ancestors, the Mong nonetheless fight with the limitation this transformation in literary conception has triggered. Compiled from various interviews, this quantity explores the lives of thirteen Mong elders. With emphasis on their distinct oral culture and cultural practices, the e-book discusses Mong rituals, tribal customs, spiritual ideals and academic stories. the focus of the paintings, even if, is the life-style the elders maintained whereas dwelling within the mountains of Laos. of their personal phrases, they describe their early life, groups, spiritual rituals and cultural traditions in addition to the continued fight of adjustment to their new place of birth. The paintings additionally delves into the Mong perceptions of industrialization and the generational clash that immersion right into a literate society has prompted. the writer himself is a member of the Mong tradition and brings a private point of view to conserving the oral traditions of this detailed ethnicity. The paintings is additionally listed.
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Extra info for The Mong Oral Tradition: Cultural Memory in the Absence of Written Language
The Mong have to do away with their faith thoroughly simply because in the event that they think in God, then God will shield them. those Elders and their households not perform the Mong conventional rituals. Now, they visit church. yet, they stated they nonetheless keep in mind the previous days after they practiced Mong conventional rituals. they've got now not but forgotten many of the chants. once they switched over to a di›erent culture, they stopped utilizing the Mong ritualistic chants, language, and songs. Elder Tong Yao Her acknowledged that even supposing he's a Christian, he nonetheless takes at the position of a Mong marriage ceremony negotiator (mejkoob). whilst he's a marriage negotiator, he nonetheless sings the marriage chants and makes use of the marriage mystery language. lots of the Elders said that the Mong needs to look after every little thing that they recognize and feature of their tradition. The ritual half is crucial piece of culture to the Mong tradition. The Mong humans are usually not overlook it. The Mong practice rituals to maintain the great and undesirable spirits chuffed so that they are not making humans ailing. those Elders stated if the Mong opt for to not retain their rituals, then there's no reason behind the Mong to maintain their cultural culture. The Mong may still undertake the mainstream tradition. this manner it permits the Mong humans to make a simple transition to the yank tradition. Wilson (¡995) wrote a couple of Mong lady known as See Lee who lived in lengthy seashore, California. She attempted to appreciate See Lee’s oral background, language, and tradition via what she referred to as “organic” unfastened verse transcription. Wilson used this time period to outline the result of her time-consuming job transcribing the tapes that include hours and hours of See Lee’s tale. Wilson (¡995) concludes in her research, “By utilizing ‘organic’ loose verse transcription, the poetic parts of oral narrative are reclaimed as a part of lifestyle” (p. ¡¡9). She provides that See Lee’s oral tales offer cognizance to the yankee tradition concerning the transformation of oral literature to written literature. See Lee has a gorgeous oral language and tradition. Her needle artwork works have a unique that means and hold strong pictures that painting the Mong people’s oral tradition and minority people’s issues of view (Wilson, ¡995). 20 THE MONG ORAL culture Six Elder ladies who participated during this research tested that stitching is a vital ability within the Mong culture. They discovered tips to stitch at younger a long time simply because they had to have the talents to be able to make clothes for his or her husband, young ones and themselves. Elder Jer Thao shared her stitching adventure: I knew basically how one can do basic stitching and that i by no means stitch a whole outfit till I married. I obtained married while i used to be approximately 13 or fourteen years outdated. After I went to reside with my husband, I discovered to stitch clothes from the better halves of my husband’s brothers (puj laug). when you've got teenagers and a husband, nobody will make garments on your family members. you must easy methods to cause them to your self. in this time, we didn't have textile so we needed to make our personal textile from hemp. It was once very di‡cult to show the hemp into textile (muab maaj lug ua ntaub).