Hmong history finds a home in Minnesota

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Tucked away amid basement boxes and bookshelves in a handsome St. Paul house is a treasure trove that scholars say is rapidly becoming the world's largest repository of Hmong books, artifacts, photographs and recordings. There's a valuable qeej, a traditional Hmong instrument that looks like a wooden trombone and sounds like an accordion. There's a book written by a Chinese emperor in 1810, exploring the history of the oppressed people known in China as the Miao.

There are chipped plates from which refugees ate rice at the Ban Vinai camp in Thailand before immigrating to Minnesota. And there are even napkins and a water bottle retrieved from the 2002 victory party after Mee Moua was elected to the Minnesota Senate, becoming the nation's first Hmong-American legislator.

Welcome to the Hmong Nationality Archives...

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