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Hmong Shamanism - The "White-faced" and the "Dark-faced" shaman

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  • odaagnethe
    Hi My name is Oda and I am currently writing my m.a thesis at the University of Bergen, Norway, Department of Social Anthropology, on Hmong concept of illness
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 23, 2011
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      Hi

      My name is Oda and I am currently writing my m.a thesis at the University of Bergen, Norway, Department of Social Anthropology, on Hmong concept of illness and ways of healing. Hence a main focus of my thesis is the Hmong shaman.

      During my field research in Northern Thailand I encountered quite a few Hmong shamans, and was lucky to get valued information for my paper. To my surprise, after spending 4 months with hospitable and friendly Hmong in their villages, I was introduced to another kind of shaman, a shaman that does not wear a veil, and does not enter trance in his/her healing rituals. They called themselves "white-faced" shamans or "open" shamans. As up to this point I had believed that there were only one type of shaman in the Hmong community, I found this discovery very interesting, and would really like to focus more on this distinction in my thesis.

      So, to my "problem", It is somewhat difficult to find any previous research that deals with this topic. All I have encountered is a paragraph in N. Tapp's "Hmong religion", and a brief mention of the white shaman in P. Symmond's "Calling in the Soul".

      Is there more information out there to back up my own discoveries? Can someone please point me in the right direction?

      Any help would be greatly appreciated!

      -Oda
      M.A student at University of Bergen, Norway
    • kennyyaj
      I m not sure what you want to write about in your m.a, but ask me any question and I ll answer them to the best of my knowledge.
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 22, 2011
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        I'm not sure what you want to write about in your m.a, but ask me any question and I'll answer them to the best of my knowledge.



        wrote:
        >
        > Hi
        >
        > My name is Oda and I am currently writing my m.a thesis at the University of Bergen, Norway, Department of Social Anthropology, on Hmong concept of illness and ways of healing. Hence a main focus of my thesis is the Hmong shaman.
        >
        > During my field research in Northern Thailand I encountered quite a few Hmong shamans, and was lucky to get valued information for my paper. To my surprise, after spending 4 months with hospitable and friendly Hmong in their villages, I was introduced to another kind of shaman, a shaman that does not wear a veil, and does not enter trance in his/her healing rituals. They called themselves "white-faced" shamans or "open" shamans. As up to this point I had believed that there were only one type of shaman in the Hmong community, I found this discovery very interesting, and would really like to focus more on this distinction in my thesis.
        >
        > So, to my "problem", It is somewhat difficult to find any previous research that deals with this topic. All I have encountered is a paragraph in N. Tapp's "Hmong religion", and a brief mention of the white shaman in P. Symmond's "Calling in the Soul".
        >
        > Is there more information out there to back up my own discoveries? Can someone please point me in the right direction?
        >
        > Any help would be greatly appreciated!
        >
        > -Oda
        > M.A student at University of Bergen, Norway
        >
      • Songwit
        ... To Oda, Myself, I am Hmong from Thailand. You are right, there are two types of Hmong shamans in Thailand, the White-faced and the Dark faced shamans.
        Message 3 of 4 , May 27, 2011
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          --- In hmongstudies@yahoogroups.com, "odaagnethe" <odaagnethe@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi
          >
          > My name is Oda and I am currently writing my m.a thesis at the University of Bergen, Norway, Department of Social Anthropology, on Hmong concept of illness and ways of healing. Hence a main focus of my thesis is the Hmong shaman.
          >
          > During my field research in Northern Thailand I encountered quite a few Hmong shamans, and was lucky to get valued information for my paper. To my surprise, after spending 4 months with hospitable and friendly Hmong in their villages, I was introduced to another kind of shaman, a shaman that does not wear a veil, and does not enter trance in his/her healing rituals. They called themselves "white-faced" shamans or "open" shamans. As up to this point I had believed that there were only one type of shaman in the Hmong community, I found this discovery very interesting, and would really like to focus more on this distinction in my thesis.
          >
          > So, to my "problem", It is somewhat difficult to find any previous research that deals with this topic. All I have encountered is a paragraph in N. Tapp's "Hmong religion", and a brief mention of the white shaman in P. Symmond's "Calling in the Soul".
          >
          > Is there more information out there to back up my own discoveries? Can someone please point me in the right direction?
          >
          > Any help would be greatly appreciated!
          >
          > -Oda
          > M.A student at University of Bergen, Norway


          To Oda,

          Myself, I am Hmong from Thailand. You are right, there are two types of Hmong shamans in Thailand, the "White-faced" and the Dark faced" shamans. The difference is that the White faced shaman is a basic Hmong shaman. S/he has to learn to be a shaman from his/her teacher. Being this type of Hmong shaman because s/he wants to be a shaman to cure his family/relatives. S/he can only perform simple shaman ceremonies. S/he doesn't have spirit altar and doesn't raise any spirit in his house. To me, my father is a White faced shaman.

          Whereas, the Dark faced shaman is an automatic/real/deeper Hmong shaman. Generally, being the Dark faced shaman because the Hmong God/Spirit called "Seeyee" comes to his/her body since the God (Seeyee) has selected her/him to be a Hmong shaman. S/he will have a big spirit altar (spirit house) and spirits will be raised in this altar. So, whenever s/he performs a shaman ceremony then the spirits (in the altar) will be called to help her/him. Only good Hmong persons who are married and have at least two kids can be selected by Seeyee to be Dark faced shaman. Prior being the Dark faced shaman, s/he will be sufferred by some illness and there is no way to cure her/his illness. The only way s/he will recover from her/his illness is being the Dark faced shaman. S/he cannot deny to be this type of shaman. If s/he denies then her/his illness will come back again. This type of Hmong shaman rarely contacts with outside peoples.

          Songwit, Ph.D.
          Hmong Anthropologist, Chiangmai, Thailand.
        • Chimtaglos_UaSiabntevnawb
          The best person that can help you in detail is Dr Pao XaykaoThao in Australia.  Dr Pao is a shaman, and he is also a western Medical Doctor himself that owns
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 6 8:15 PM
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            The best person that can help you in detail is Dr Pao XaykaoThao in Australia.  Dr Pao is a shaman, and he is also a western Medical Doctor himself that owns his own clinic.

            --- On Fri, 5/27/11, Songwit <schuamsakul@...> wrote:

            From: Songwit <schuamsakul@...>
            Subject: [hmongstudies] Re: Hmong Shamanism - The "White-faced" and the "Dark-faced" shaman
            To: hmongstudies@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Friday, May 27, 2011, 10:57 AM

             



            --- In hmongstudies@yahoogroups.com, "odaagnethe" <odaagnethe@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi
            >
            > My name is Oda and I am currently writing my m.a thesis at the University of Bergen, Norway, Department of Social Anthropology, on Hmong concept of illness and ways of healing. Hence a main focus of my thesis is the Hmong shaman.
            >
            > During my field research in Northern Thailand I encountered quite a few Hmong shamans, and was lucky to get valued information for my paper. To my surprise, after spending 4 months with hospitable and friendly Hmong in their villages, I was introduced to another kind of shaman, a shaman that does not wear a veil, and does not enter trance in his/her healing rituals. They called themselves "white-faced" shamans or "open" shamans. As up to this point I had believed that there were only one type of shaman in the Hmong community, I found this discovery very interesting, and would really like to focus more on this distinction in my thesis.
            >
            > So, to my "problem", It is somewhat difficult to find any previous research that deals with this topic. All I have encountered is a paragraph in N. Tapp's "Hmong religion", and a brief mention of the white shaman in P. Symmond's "Calling in the Soul".
            >
            > Is there more information out there to back up my own discoveries? Can someone please point me in the right direction?
            >
            > Any help would be greatly appreciated!
            >
            > -Oda
            > M.A student at University of Bergen, Norway

            To Oda,

            Myself, I am Hmong from Thailand. You are right, there are two types of Hmong shamans in Thailand, the "White-faced" and the Dark faced" shamans. The difference is that the White faced shaman is a basic Hmong shaman. S/he has to learn to be a shaman from his/her teacher. Being this type of Hmong shaman because s/he wants to be a shaman to cure his family/relatives. S/he can only perform simple shaman ceremonies. S/he doesn't have spirit altar and doesn't raise any spirit in his house. To me, my father is a White faced shaman.

            Whereas, the Dark faced shaman is an automatic/real/deeper Hmong shaman. Generally, being the Dark faced shaman because the Hmong God/Spirit called "Seeyee" comes to his/her body since the God (Seeyee) has selected her/him to be a Hmong shaman. S/he will have a big spirit altar (spirit house) and spirits will be raised in this altar. So, whenever s/he performs a shaman ceremony then the spirits (in the altar) will be called to help her/him. Only good Hmong persons who are married and have at least two kids can be selected by Seeyee to be Dark faced shaman. Prior being the Dark faced shaman, s/he will be sufferred by some illness and there is no way to cure her/his illness. The only way s/he will recover from her/his illness is being the Dark faced shaman. S/he cannot deny to be this type of shaman. If s/he denies then her/his illness will come back again. This type of Hmong shaman rarely contacts with outside peoples.

            Songwit, Ph.D.
            Hmong Anthropologist, Chiangmai, Thailand.

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