***Ervin Davis, the creator and maintainer of this website, passed away April 22, 2007.
His family can still be contacted through his old email address, firstname.lastname@example.org
Please continue to sign the guestbook. He always loved to hear from fellow Vets and researchers..!
Nyob zoo ! ... page three
Southeast Asian History and the Hmong
The following is only a brief exploration of the history of the Hmong peoples, so no attempt is being made to enter
'every word' of their history, but rather only to provide a time line showing the appearances of the Hmong, as compared to other noteworthy events elsewhere.
For those of you who want to learn more about the Hmong and other tribal peoples, I hope these pages stimulate you to begin , or continue, your research.
But first, to discover who the Hmong are, we also need to examine some world events through time
and see where China, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand , Burma, Tibet, the Hmong and their ancestors fit into the history of South East Asia.
A Brief Glimpse Into Southeast Asian History and the Hmong
Elsewhere : In India,
Gautama Siddharta the Buddha died at age believed to be eighty, and thus was probably born in 563 BC..
Chinese Chronicles describe the ancestors of present day Hmong
("free men") as an ancient people the Chinese called Meo, --Meow, Miao, Maeo-- ("barbarians". "savages"), who lived
in the vicinity of the Yellow River Valley in southwestern Mainland China, in the provinces of
Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, and Hunan.
Lao political entities first appeared in Chinese
Dynastic Chonicles, where they were identified as Ai Lao or Nan Chao in 338 B.C.
NOTE : The Hmong (known by the Chinese as the : Meo, Meow, Miao, Maeo) occupied south-western China before the arrival of the Chinese.
NOTE : The Chinese term of 'Miao" , had several varations thru time : "Miao" (Meo) to "Miao-Man" or
"Man-Miao", "Wuling Man," 'Wuxi Man," or simply "Man," and then eventually back to "Miao" (Meo). So keep this in mind when researching the term : "Miao" (Meo).
For several hundred years, the central Chinese government,
dominated by Han Chinese, basically left the Hmong alone, as long
as they paid their tributes to the Chinese.
The Nineteen Hmong Clans
There are five main branches of Hmong living in China :
Hong ( Red )
Hei ( Black )
Bai ( White )
Hua ( Flowery )
Qing ( Green )
Clans may also have subclans.
There are nineteen ( 19 ) Hmong Clans ( Xeem ) in China and Laos.
Clan members include a male ancestor, his sons and unmarried daughters, and the children of his
sons, going back 160 or more generations, who customarily do not marry
members of the same clan, nor to members of certain other clans.
The traditional nineteen (19 ) Hmong Clans, with their spelling variations, are listed alphabeticly as follows :
Chang / Chai
Chue / Tsue
Kong (Cong) / Song
Kue / Kwm
Khang / Kha
Her / Herr / Heu
Lao / Lo / Lor
Lee / Ly / Li
Pha / Phang
Thao / Thoj / Thor / Thow / Torr
Va / Vang / Vangh
Vu / Vue
Xiong / Shong / Siong
Ya / Yang
Chinese Chronicles mentioned a race of people in the south of China and northern Laos, known as Ai Lao and Nan Chao in 338 B.C.
In the 8th century Khun Lo, the
eldest son of the ruler of Nan Chao,moved south and founded a kingdom called Chiang
Dkong (Chiang Tong), today known as Luang Prabang
(lw�ng' pr�-b�ng') , (Louangphrabang) ,
NOTE : The founder of the city of Luang Prabang brought from ancient Cambodia (Khmer) a treasured mystical golden statue of Lord Buddha that is known by the name of "Pra Bang" . "Luang" is short for "Nakhon Luang" ( which means "Capital") , and
"Pra" (means "Holy"). So "Luang Prabang" can be roughly translated as "Capital of
the Holy Bang".
NOTE : One of the historical survival importances of the power of the "Pra Bang" image is the belief that if this image is taken in cerimonial procession around the town it will rain, and as a result bless favorable crop growth.
NOTE : Luang Prabang was also the 22 year home of the Emerald Buddha ( Pra Kaew ).
Construction of the Great Wall of China , [ 2 ] began in the 7th century B.C. , when separatist states in the north built walls around their territories to ward off invasions from neighbouring states. In 221 B.C. Qin Shi Huangdi unified China from seven Warring States then
linked and extended these walls, that today measure 6,400 kilometers
(4,000 miles) long.
Chin Tain Shihuangti, emporer of China, issued
a decree that all books (pictographs) should be destroyed
(manuscripts on bamboo), hence erasing most of the ancient
history of mankind in Asia.
The first paper is made in China from macerated
hemp fibers in water suspension.
NOTE : Oldest surviving 'original' Buddhist scrolls ever discovered
date from the first century A.D. and are being translated,
China : From 9 to 23 A.D. Wang Mang ai is Emperor of China
Elsewhere : Northwest of Hanoi Vietnam , on the Red River, in the village of Tay Vu, lived two sisters,
Trung Trac and Trung Nhi, who
led a rebellion against Chinese rule in
Vietnam , which was caused when the Chinese attempted
to raise taxes and consolidate their control over the "Lac
Lords," the indigenous landed aristocracy in occupied
Vietnam. Their father was a "Lac Lord". They drove the Chinese from Vietnam but when the Chinese returned with an Army, in the year 41, most of their supporters were defeated, then abandoned them, leaving them to be captured by the Chinese in A.D 41 when Trung Trac and with her sister Trung Nhi committed suicide, then have become folk heros ever since.
Elsewhere : Around 50 A.D. to 100 A.D. Buddhism reaches China.
Old Time Sayings
One ant may destroy a whole dam.
Better do a good deed near your home, than go far
away to burn incense.
Better to light a candle, than to curse the
A clear conscience, never fears the knocking on the door at midnight.
Distant water won't help to put out a nearby fire.
A dog won't forsake his master because he is poor.
Dream different dreams while on the same bed.
Even a rabbit will bite when cornered.
Flies never visit an egg that has no crack.
He who asks is a fool for a minute, he
who does not ask is a fool forever.
If you bow, bow low.
If you do not study hard when young you'll end
up a failure when old.
If you must gamble, decide on 3 things at the
............... ( 1.) the game rules, ( 2.) the stakes, ( 3.) the
If you want 1 year of prosperity, grow corn.
you want 10 years of prosperity, grow a forest.
you want 100 years of prosperity, grow a large family.
To know the mind of a man, listen to
Kill one to warn a hundred.
Knowledge is a treasure that will follow its owner
Make happy those who are near, and those
who are far will come.
Never write a letter while you are angry.
Once bitten by a snake, you forever scared at the mere sight of a rope.
Do not surrender tears, until you see the coffin.
A single conversation with a wise man, is better
than years of study.
A sly rabbit will have three openings to its den.
Sow much, reap much. Sow little, reap little.
To know the road ahead, ask those coming
To understand the love of your parents, you must raise
your own children.
When you want to test the depth of a stream,
don't use both feet.
Elsewhere : In North Britain, for the next fourteen (14) years the Romans are building a
wall seventy-three (73) miles long and fifteen (15) feet tall as protection against raids.
Last Han emperor deposed in China (220 A.D.)
China divides into three kingdoms (220 A.D.)
NOTE : Chinese documents (Classics) that have been maintained for 5,000 years include several referances to the
'Miao" , such as the 'Zhanguo ce' ("Intrigues of the Warring States") and the "Shiji' ("Records of the Historians). Years later, after the Han Dynasty in 220 A.D., the people known as "Miao" seem to have disappeared from historical records until the Song Dynasty (A.D. 947-1279).
The first embassy from Funan (an area of present-day Cambodia) arrives at the Chinese Imperial
court, with some musicians and Funan's produces as tribute to the Chinese Emperor.
Elsewhere : In Thanh Hoa
province of North Vietnam, Trieu Thi Trinh (known as Ba Trieu, or Lady Trieu) was the daughter of a village chief. Trieu Thi Trinh led a revolt against the Chinese
occupation policies and presence of the aggressive state of
Champa to the south. When the Champa fought
Chinese troops near the border of Cuu Chan in A.D. 248 , the local
population erupted in a revolt led by Lady Trieu. After
several months of battle, the rebel population was suppressed, and
Lady Trieu then committed suicide at a age of 23.
The memory of Lady Trieu and the revolt she inspired became famous in Vietnamese history and
legend. Popular belief described her as leading followers to the battle on the back of an elephant.
She is today one of the leading figure in the pantheon of Vietnamese heroes struggling against the
Compass is invented in China ( 271 A.D. )
A search for salt has always been a need for the Hmong as far back as they can remember.
The first recorded trade of salt between the Hmong and the Chinese was during the Northern and
Southern Dynasties (311-580 AD).
Elsewhere : Nomadic invasions of China (c.300 - 500 A.D.)
Elsewhere : India : Rise of Gupta empire in Ganges Valley, India
Beginning of era of north-south division in China (lasting until 589 A.D.)
Elsewhere : First records of Japanese history are kept. ( 400 A.D. )
Elsewhere : Sanskrit is becoming established as the literary language of India and the
Hindu epics are written down in it.
Elsewhere : Jayavarman (r. c. 478 - d. 514), is King of Funan (an area of present-day Cambodia)
A Funanese trade mission returning from southern China is raided by the Chams of Linyi.
Elsewhere : King of Funan (a part of present-day Cambodia) sends a Buddhist monk named
Nagasena to China.
Elsewhere : India : Around 500 A.D. to 515 A.D. the Huns, a nomadic central Asian
people, destroy the powerful Gupta Empire of India.
In China, a meteorite impact or near miss , (as confirmed from tree ring samples and world wide
weather change observations) result in the Chinese claiming : "the stars were lost from
view for three months." The sun
dimmed, the rain failed, and snow fell in the summertime. Famine
spread, and the Emperor of China abandoned his capital amid political and
This was confirmed all over Europe, where their tree rings confirm between
AD 536 to at least AD 545, what has been referenced by Mediterranean
writers about a severe "dry fog" or "dust veil" in the year 536 .
Bubonic Plague (Justinian Plague) - from 541 to 544 A.D., with a population loss of 50-60% in Europe and countless lives lost throughout Asia.
Elsewhere : Mohammed, the Prophet of Islam, is born in Mecca .
Chinese build Grand Canal to link Yangtze with Chang�an (605-10 A.D.)
Elsewhere : Muslims conquer Syria, Persia and Egypt (636 to 651 A.D.)
Successive migrations from central
Asia into territory already inhabited by the Negrito peoples.
Although a few Thai groups (ethnically related to the Shan of
Myanmar and the Lao of Laos) migrated to the northern hill
country of Thailand, the main body of Thais remained in Yunnan,
China, where by A.D. 650 they had organized the independent
kingdom of Nanchao.
By 1000, however, the Chinese had
overrun Nanchao (650-1250 A.D.) and made it a tributary state. With the
destruction of the kingdom of Nanchao by the Mongols under
Kublai Khan in 1253, the slow infiltration of Thailand from China and Laos turned into a mass migration.
By that time the Khmer
Empire was well established in the Chao Phraya valley and on
the Khorat plateau.
Elsewhere : Revelations of Mohammed are written, and they become the Koran.