Hmong: Similarity between their beliefs and those of Native Americans

Anthropologist Dwight Conquergood, well-known for his work with the Hmong, points out the similarity between their beliefs and those of the Native Americans.


Between Two Worlds: The Hmong Shaman in America
Between Two Worlds: The Hmong Shaman in America

Between Two Worlds: The Hmong Shaman in America


  • Produced by Taggart Siegel & Dwight Conquergood
  • 30 minutes – Released 1996 by Filmakers Library

This classic film documents the Hmong refugees who have been transplanted from their agrarian mountain villages in northern Laos to cities in the U.S. Often living in high-rise tenements, they bring their ancient shamanic rituals and ceremonies to urban America. In such unlikely settings, trance-like healing and animal offerings are practiced as they were back home.

The documentary captures rare and dramatic footage of the Hmong buying and sacrificing a cow in rural Illinois to save a sick baby in a metropolitan hospital. It shows the attempts of a missionary to convert a traditional Hmong family. It also explores an unexplained phenomenon (SUNDS) in which young Hmong men have died in their sleep for no apparent medical cause. Anthropologist Dwight Conquergood, well-known for his work with the Hmong, points out the similarity between their beliefs and those of the Native Americans.


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