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Object Record

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Artist Yang, May
Nationality or Tribal Affiliation Hmong
Title Funeral Collar
Type of Object Collar
Date 1988
Medium Applique
Dimensions H-36 W-58.3 cm
Collection Missoula Art Museum Collection
How acquired Gift of Susan Lindbergh Miller in honor of Montana's Hmong Community
Object ID 2011.10.77
Statement about this object The Hmong, who believe that many souls reside in the body, do not view death as final. Instead, three principle souls continue to exist after the body decays. One soul guards the tomb, one travels to the spirit world, and one becomes reincarnated into a future generation of the same family. Souls have similar needs as corporeal beings-food, money, guidance, protection. Gifts of funerary collars, or squares, called noob ncoos, depict activities and aid to the souls. They are also referred to as 'old person's clothing' or 'old people's designs,' as Hmong do not traditionally allude directly to death. Funeral collars are larger than elaborate collars and are worn by both men and women. These are usually sewn by daughters or daughters-in-law for elderly parents or relatives well ahead of the time of passing, and stored in a special place. The cloth is placed under the head before burial.

This collar is in the "cut and sew as you go" technique, called "tho" by the maker.
Classification Textiles
Funerary Art
Subjects Patterns (Design elements)
Symbols
Mazes
Death & burial