Globalised threads: costumes of the Hmong community in north Queensland

Wronska-Friend, Maria (2004) Globalised threads: costumes of the Hmong community in north Queensland. In: Tapp, Nicholas, and Lee, Gary Yia, (eds.) The Hmong of Australia: culture and diaspora. Pandanus Books, Canberra, ACT, Australia, pp. 97-122.

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Abstract

[Extract] There are very few societies in the world in which costume, whether an everyday dress or festive garment, has received such significant cultural recognition as in the case of the Hmong people. Costumes and silver jewellery have become for me Hmong their major form of artistic expression, a means of visual communication as well as a marker of ethnic identity. The Hmong costume adorns and protects, but it also sends subliminal messages about its owner's gender, group membership, locality, marital status wealth, and so on. This study is based on research conducted during 1995-2003 among Hmong communities in Innisfail and Cairns in north Queensland, as well as in Yunnan Province, China, in June 2000.' The current situation of the Hmong costume in Ausrralia will be analysed in terms of its manufacture, supply and use, as well as its function as a gift token, which connects the worldwide diaspora of Laotian Hmong migrants together.

Like all artefacts, Hmong costume should be perceived not only as a material construct but also as a manifestation of ideas and a means by which cultural categories and principles are encoded and expressed. Under the increasing impact of cultural globalisation, the analysis of Hmong costumes will assist us in understanding the social changes experienced by the Hmong at both a regional and a global level.

Item ID: 7476
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
Keywords: diaspora; Hmong costume
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ISBN: 978-1-74076-041-6
Date Deposited: 23 Dec 2009 00:54
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950303 Conserving Collections and Movable Cultural Heritage @ 45%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950104 The Creative Arts (incl. Graphics and Craft) @ 25%
94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940111 Ethnicity, Multiculturalism and Migrant Development and Welfare @ 30%
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