HMONG ABC

The Hmong People and the Turtle

Paperback, 16 pages, 6.7x8.5, English
by Vangtou Xing X. Toyed and G. Graber-Wilson
ISBN: 1-879331-46-2

A Hmong folk tale for children. It took place when humans and animals can talk to one another. The turtle ended up being the one with good wisdom. Colorfully illustrated.

This story comes from the Hmong people of Laos. Their ancestors fled from China to Laos about two hundred years ago. There they settled in the northern highlands, so many of their stories mention the forests or woods and the animals and birds of that region. 

The Hmong lived in close communities far from the education centers of Laos and were not exposed to written language until the early 1960's when missionaries first visited their area, Just as our children have bedtime storiesm so did the Hmong children, Parents and grandparents told stories to the children to teach Hmong values and beliefs. It was very important for these refugees to have traditions to cling tom, especially during the instability of war. The stories often tell of real-life situations and usually have a moral.

Most of the stories in this series were told to Vangtou Xiong X. Toyed by his father. They are now retold for the first time in English in memory of Vangtou's parentsm Chong Ge Xiong X. Toyed and Yia Ly, who died while trying to escape fron Laos to Thailand in 1978.