|Nationality or Tribal Affiliation||Hmong|
|Type of Object||Needlework|
|Dimensions||H-82.3 W-60 cm|
|Collection||Missoula Art Museum Collection|
|How acquired||Gift of Susan Lindbergh Miller in honor of Montana's Hmong Community|
|Statement about this object||
Snails indicate that this work, was made and collected in St. Paul, MN, was made the Sam Neua tradition or by a maker from that region. Traditionally, the snail pattern symbolizes family, with conjoined snails, as seen here, suggesting fecundity or fertility.
This large flower cloth is representative of the Hmong entrepreneurship that first emerged in the refugee camps. Before the Vietnam War, women were able to sew only after daily farm and family chores were complete; the resulting flower cloths were small, ideal for use as pockets, panels, and borders on important garments. At the same time that the refugee camps displaced the Hmong agrarian lifestyle, an influx of foreign tourists and soldiers were looking to purchase souvenirs. Hmong women used these as opportunities to create larger cloths that were functional, such as table cloths and bed spreads, or purely decorative, such as wall hangings. The embroiders also employed new color palettes that appealed to Western buyers.
Patterns (Design elements)