Hmong history displayed through textile collection
Concordia’s Center for Hmong Studies opened the new exhibit, “Hmong History through Textile,” on Sept. 15, featuring a variety of Hmong textiles and what role each played in Hmong culture throughout history. The collection of Hmong textiles, which features an array of story cloths, skirts, shirts, and costumes, was largely made possible by the Center for Hmong Studies director, Lee Pao Xiong, who has been acquiring pieces from all over the world for several years, and a $7,000 Historical and Cultural grant from the Minnesota Historical Society.
“Clothing is very important in Hmong life,” said Xiong. “Textiles are a Hmong art form the Hmong use as an opportunity to show off craftsmanship.” For the Hmong, textiles have remained at the heart of their culture and heritage, and the exhibit offers the opportunity for all to appreciate the historical value of Hmong textiles. Kaolee Vang, a Concordia student and intern for the Center for Hmong Studies, cataloged each piece. She noted that being a part of the project gave her the opportunity “to learn more about my own culture.”
“Hmong History through Textile” is free and open to the public until Jan. 15, 2012 at the Center for Hmong Studies at Concordia University in St. Paul (1245 Carroll Avenue, St. Paul, Minn. 55104). Exhibit hours are: Mondays and Wednesdays from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. and on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Contact Lee Pao Xiong (651-641-8870) to request a special tour or for comments/questions.