North Thailand People

The Hmong In North Thailand

  • The Hmong People belong to the Austro-Thai linguistic family of the Miao-Yao sub group. The Hmong are a significant ethnic minority in South West China and there are many sub groups.
  • The sub groups in Thailand are the Black Hmong, White Hmong and Stripped Hmong.
  • Today they inhabit the Upper Northern Provinces of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Nan, Phayao, Lampang, Phrae and Mae Hong Son and the Lower Northern Provinces of Phetchabun, Tak and Phitsanulok. They can also be found in Loei in I 'san.



Hmong Sub Groups In Thailand

  • The Black Hmong are located in Nan, Chiang Rai, Tak, Phrae, northern Phetchabun and Phitsanulok. They are distinguished by their costume. Their women wear their hair in a bun and wear dark blue and white pleated knee length skirts with embroidered borders. The men wear a black or dark blue jacket without collar and have wide sleeves and cuffs. Both women and men wear alot of jewelry made of silver. 
  • The Striped Hmong can be found in the west of Nan. They wear Black trousers with a dark jacket with embroidered collars and green, white and blue stripes on their long sleeves.
  • The White Hmong are to be found in Nan and Chiang Rai. Their women wear long loose dark blue trousers with plain long sleeved jackets with embroidered collar flaps and a turban. On festive occasions they wear a white skirt with stripes of embroidery down the front [ thus their name ].



Thai Hmong Girls in Thailand


Hmong Beliefs

  • The Hmong in Thailand believe in a mixture of animism and shamanism with ancestor worship. Villages have spirit shrines to protect from evil. There are village and house spirits. The Hmong bury their dead and believe each person has three souls, and that upon death, one goes to heaven, one goes to be reincarnated and the other remains in the grave with the corpse.
  • The Hmong are recorded in Chinese annals as early as the 3rd century B.C. They then originated in the Yangtze Basin but were pushed South to Kweichow Province in China. By the 17th Century the Han then took authority over the region leading to dissatisfaction and migration of some Hmong further South.
  • Those that went to Laos in the later part of the 20th century found themselves at war with the Pathet Lao, supporting the Americans, only to be crushed and forced to leave.