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Published on Nov 18, 2015
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FROM THE JUNGLE TO THE CAMPS
LIFE IN THE JUNGLE
Living in the jungle was very tough for some people.
There was very little food supply for the Hmong that fled for the jungle.
Many of the Hmong had starved, then died.
Some also got very ill, and eventually had died.
Families had stayed in the jungle for years.
THE WAR ENDS
The United States lost the war.
The U.S withdrew and the communists took over Loas and South Vietnam.
The Hmong that fought against the communist group were in danger.
THE KILLING CONTINUES
Communist tracked, and hunted down people of the secret Hmong army.
There was no United States troops to protect the Hmong anymore.
The planes of the communists dropped bombs on the Hmong villages.
Thr communist lit the jungle on fire with napalm.
Some Hmong had surrendered to communist soldiers, but were treated like slaves.
CROSSING THE MEKONG RIVER
The other side of the Mekong River was Thailand.
People, including many families, had walked days to get to the Mekong River.
There was no bridge for them to get across safely.
Only some had boats, but some tried to swim across the river.
Some had rafts that were made from banana leaves or bamboo poles.
DEATH IN THE WATER
On the shore of Laos communists stayed keeping watch.
The communists searched for people trying to escape from Laos in the Mekong River.
Bodies often floated down the Mekong River.
THE REFUGEE CAMPS
No one was positive how many people had tried to escape.
The people that had made it to Thailand had been placed in refugee camps.
One of the largest camps was named Ban Vinai.
At that time more that 4,500 people had lived in this camp called "Ban Vinai."
Around half of the people were children.
Most of the Hmong refugees lived in barracks, with dirt floors and straw thatched roofs.
Sometimes as many as ten families had to live in in each barrack.
Some families had a little bit of space for a garden, and grew some of their food, but depended on the camps to give them food.
Sometimes 200 people had to share one bathroom in these barracks.
FAMILY IS IMPORTANT
The Hmong people tried to follow their traditions as best as they could in the refugee camps.
The Hmong tried to live in clans or groups. If it was possible.
Sometimes, as many as four generations of one of the clans may live together.
THE HMONG CLANS
The Armband Hmong and the Green Hmong were the main Hmong clans from Thailand and Laos.
The Blue Hmong, the Black Hmong, the Flower Hmong, and the White Hmong were the main Vietnam clans.
If it was possible, the Hmong wore hand-woven clothes to show what clan they are from.
Most of the time they wore what they could.
NO WRITTEN LANGUAGE
They tried to write about their experiences of the war and living in the jungle, but they had no written language.
In the legends it is said that, they had a written language, but it was lost in time.
Then the Western missionaries had tried to form a alphabet for the Hmong.
They had to keep their stories in these refugee camps, but how could they? They started making storycloths instead of keeping a journal, to remember their past and their history.
Because the Hmong didn't have a written language, they started to create storycloths to tell their stories.
Because of the storycloth, it was easier to trace the history of the Hmong.
Some relief workers bought their storycloths and sent them back to their home countries.
Because of the relief workers bying the storycloths, some of the Hmomg got money that they really needed.
Information: Long Road To Freedom, Google
Pictures: Web Search
Put together by: Lyla Tolle
Tools used for the project : School District of LaCrosse
Presented: Lyla Tolle
Audience: Mrs.Popps 9th hour social studies class
Thank you 😄