DESCRIPTION AND PURPOSE
Hmong Paj Ntaub story cloths play an important role in Hmong everyday and ceremonial life. Paj Ntaub story cloths are closely associated with Hmong community celebrations including the New Year and rites of passage including birth, naming ceremonies, courtship, marriage and death.
Traditionally, young Hmong girls begin to learn the repertoire of motifs and stitches associated with Paj Ntaub embroidery at age 5 or 6. Up until the 1970s, most Hmong Paj Ntaub consisted of traditional geometric and abstract designs as seen above. After this time period however, many Hmong embroidery artists living in Thai refugee camps and in the Western resettlement countries began to incorporate in their work embroidered human figures, animals and scenery depicting the Hmong experience such as New Year festivals, the escape from Laos, life in the refugee camps and life in the United States.
SOURCE: MacDowell, M. (1989). Stories in Thread: Hmong Pictorial Embroidery. Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Publications.
Video clips of Hmong tapestry are coming soon to the Learn about Hmong Website.