My name is Mai Zoua, I came to America when I was 5 or 6 month and my parent want my family to get education. Also my parent want the older siblings to help me and my younger siblings in the future. My family want a job so that it can help my family. In Laos Hmong people used Qeej for Hmong funeral, wedding and New Year ceremonies. The qeej is a religion for Hmong culture. The Qeej is made out of 6 bamboo reeds. It is a free-reed mouth organ, used to play a text-based melody in the middle range. It consists of a wooden wind chest, with a long horizontal tapering neck ending in a mouth hole. The qeej was found in China. So during Hmong New Year in Laos their will be people blowing the Qeej and dance with the music that the Qeej make. The Qeej is more than an instrument in the Hmong culture. The music it plays is like an extension to the Hmong language, meaning every note symbolizes its own word. To Hmong people, the sounds of the Qeej is like speech and Qeej players are known as storytellers. It is most often played at funerals and its purpose is to communicate with the spiritual world by leading the deceased person to its rightful place. If this fails by all means, the deceased spirit may wander back and bring misfortune to the family. 

Place(s): Laos, St. Paul, Minnesota
Year: 2009

– Mai Zoua Yang

Relationship:  Im/migrant who arrived as a child Im/migrant who arrived as a child