“Hmong Songs of Memory, Hmong Threads of Life: Secular & Sacred Music & Textiles”, is the all-new exhibition at Tamarind Village Chiang Mai, by American researcher, writer and film maker Victoria Vorreiter. The exhibition explores the music and textile traditions of the Hmong, an ethnic minority that originated in Siberia and Mongolia and migrated into southwest China and the mountainous areas of Southeast Asia including Laos, Thailand and Vietnam over many centuries.
The free-entry exhibition is comprised of a selection of rare photographs taken by Ms. Vorreiter, over a decade on her numerous research trips to remote Hmong villages, documenting little-known shamanic rituals, daily life scenes and offering striking ethnographic portraits of a proud and diverse people. In addition to the photographs, there are also a fascinating number of rare artefacts on display alongside
musical instruments and textiles.
The rich textile traditions of the Hmong, whose various sub-groups (Blue, Black, White and Striped) are named for the predominant color of their costumes have long been renowned. Embroidery, appliqué and batik indicate status and identity within the extended community. Ms Vorreiter’s collection of Hmong costumes and beautifully-crafted textiles are also on view at Tamarind Village with descriptions in English and in Thai.
A trained classical musician and former lecturer at DePaul University School of Music in Chicago, Ms Vorreiter turned her attention to the primal role music plays in traditional culture more than a decade ago. Since then she has travel to remote parts of Thailand, Laos, China and Myanmar in order to document and study the little known music of the region’s tribal people. She has published a beautiful book “Songs of Memory” along with a DC of ancestral songs before turning her attention to an in-depth study of Hmong music and culture, resulting in the publication of “Hmong Songs of Memory” book, along with a 75 minute etnographic film.
When asked about the importance of her research in the face of modern advancements, Ms. Vorreiter replies, “The Hmong have depended on oral tradition to transmit history and their beliefs from one generation to the next for centuries. How long these customs can continue is in doubt. The aim of my work is to help to safeguard the knowledge of these tribal rituals and musical traditions before they are forgotten.” And in order to better spread the word, passionate Victoria Vorreiter offers a curator’s walk through the exhibition at Tamarind Village Chiang Mai each Friday from 15:00-16:00 hrs,
until the end of February (advance reservation highly recommended). This weekly event gives you the opportunity to meet with Ms Vorreiter and being lectured by herself on various details in every part of this Hmong exhibition. And don’t forget that you can also enjoy delicious dinner, coffee, tea and cakes at Ruen Tamarind, the hotel’s delicious restaurant.
So many reasons to come to Tamarind Village Chiang Mai this month. Discover Hmong threads of life and cultivate your artistic knowledge.
TAMARIND VILLAGE CHIANG MAI
50/1 Rajdamnoen Road. Sriphoom. Chiang Mai.
Tel. 053-418 897