The Religious Dynamic and Changing Identity of Hmong Peoples in the Midwest: Preservation and Perseverance
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This paper looks at the Hmong peoples of the Midwest and the role of religion and clan structure in their lives. Our research determines that Hmong ethnic identity trumps Hmong religious identity. Hmong who practice non-traditional religions still retain their Hmong identity according to our respondents. During our research, we interview four respondents from different religious backgrounds. We examine the role religious institutions play in the sponsorship of Hmong families and how it relates to their spatial distribution. We discover that clan structure is a lesser factor of spatial distribution for Hmong peoples in the Midwest due to economic pressures in the United States. While our research demonstrates that clan structure is less important in the Hmong community, we nevertheless discover more unifying factors than factors that split the community.