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Author Topic: Roles of tshwj kab & kav xwm  (Read 9936 times)

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Offline lilly

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Re: Roles of tshwj kab & kav xwm
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2013, 04:32:00 PM »
Chidorix0x,

I would like to thank you so much for taking the time and effort to write all that up and sharing your knowledge with us.  It means a lot to me.

I know a lot more than before about the funeral process and I have you to thank for that.

Even though some of the processes scare me, I think the rituals are very unique to our people and should be documented and cherished and remembered.

I await your explanation on the wedding process in that other thread.

Thank you again!

-Lilly




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Offline luckyvang

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Re: Roles of tshwj kab & kav xwm
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2013, 08:42:26 PM »
chidorixox ---- Dude... Your fingers must be sore after writing all that.  LOL.  Good job.



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Offline theking

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Re: Roles of tshwj kab & kav xwm
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2013, 09:28:54 PM »
chidorix0x and whomever knows the ins and outs of hmong rituals,

Could you guys/gals please educate us on the different roles people play in Hmong funerals and in Hmong weddings?  And what are the procedures/processes/standard practices?


Google is your friend  :):

http://www.hmonglibrary.org/uploads/4/5/8/7/4587788/hmong_funeral_procedures.pdf



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Offline chidorix0x

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Re: Roles of tshwj kab & kav xwm
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2013, 03:05:23 AM »
luckyvang,

Nope  ...  my fingers are just fine, as I can type 55wpm  ...   O0  The challenge was trying to keep it simple, yet explicit and informative for all of you, without overwhelming your attentiveness and comprehension.

As for the PDF file, I'll review it later to see how thorough it is etc., since it is only 32 pages.  I have a book written and published about the 80s, over 300+ pages, that covers practically every aspect of the traditional Hmong funeral ceremony, even some if not most of all the variants among the various groups and clans, so it will be nice to compare and contrast.  This book is about as close and as thorough as it gets with respect to a lot of other materials/publication I have seen.  And the book was authored by a very well known and respected Hmong enthusiast and researcher.  If not for his work, a lot of what Hmong take for granted today would have been lost.  (I am currently looking for the book's accompaniment, which has all of the "songs", both reed songs and "Txiv Xaiv" songs.  Together, they are and will be a "treasure" to have and own.  Yes, they both are written in "Hmoob".  Sorry you non-Hmong, or "Ntawv Hmoob", literates.)

Ua tsaug ...   :)



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Offline luckyvang

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Re: Roles of tshwj kab & kav xwm
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2013, 01:54:34 PM »
Chidorixox - let me know what you find out.  It would be interesting to read the "old" txiv xaiv and the origins of our ceremonial events.   

What I'd like to see is to meet everyone one day, and see if you guys are applying what you learn on this thread. 

LV



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Offline chidorix0x

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Re: Roles of tshwj kab & kav xwm
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2013, 12:11:42 PM »
Upon completion of reviewing the PDF document on "Hmong Funeral Procedures", the most notable aspect of the entire document is the "poor" - near inaccurate - elementary literal English translation.  Two things come to mind and into question, if one is fully knowledgeable of this Hmong-centric practice, and they are:  1) is the individual who drafted this document well-informed, and 2) clearly the English translation and vocabulary used is outright questionable.  For example, where one gives thanks for "monetary" contribution, requesting the service of the "muam phauj" etc., and the "lus noog" or "lus txheeb" during "lub rooj hais xim" by the "tshwj kab" is wrong for the most part.  They are way way too literal, meaning wrong.  When the "tshwj kab" ask about "knives, a stone knife sharpener, salt and a bottle of wine.", they are metaphoric -- not literally those items.

And “Koj muaj rooj zaum no, nco ntsoov mog.”, does not mean "Please remember you have a role."  It actually is a subtle reminder that they, in fact, have a designated "seat" at the "rooj hais xim" -- not a role.  Clearly anyone who sits at the "rooj hais xim" has a role and purpose that is why they were initially sought out, visited at their home, and tasked with their role/responsibility.

In conclusion, the document seems dated, the information within very general and limited, and the accuracy of the translation definitely questionable; thus can be misleading and incorrect.  For general information of and about Hmong funeral rites, it is ok, but use discretion in actual application and/or in citing it as a sound resource, for those who are US-borned or am ill-informed of this funeral ceremony.

Ua tsaug ...   :)



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Offline theking

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Re: Roles of tshwj kab & kav xwm
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2013, 08:04:45 PM »
Lilly,

Here's the same man (Tougeu Leepalao) that compiled the funeral procedure in video form:





Besides Tougeu's legit knowledge, lots of other free (via www) resources out there. Again, Google is your friend.



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Offline yuknowthat

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Re: Roles of tshwj kab & kav xwm
« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2013, 05:14:17 AM »
Here is the info. regarding "lilly" question for each day of a traditional Hmong funeral ceremony up to the day of burial -- mainly highlighting the sole purpose, and what is done.  (Just be mindful that, today in the West, the funeral ceremony typically only takes 2-3 days, whereas in SE Asia, pre-Westernization, it can takes several weeks.  Why?  Because a lot of relatives do not live within the same village or nearby villages and may take days, even a week, to arrive.  And this mainly explains why there are so many "reed songs" played daily/nightly -- basically to wait for everyone to arrive so proceedings can continue into day 2 and towards burial.)

Day 1:  Txiv Tawv Kev hnub (Master of the Way) --  this is the beginning of the funeral ceremony, and the first crucial event is to bring the "deceased", fully dressed in his afterlife apparel, which is mandatory, before "Txiv Tawv Kev", in preparation for his/her journey into the "land of darkness".  Not much is done here except "Txiv Tawv Kev 'qhuab ke'" song, telling and leading the "deceased" on his/her way into the afterlife.  (I will add that within this song, it's very sad, it tells of how the world was created and how death became a part of human existence.  Also, it specifically leads the deceased from his/her birthplace to their eventual destination which is "mus cuag poj cuag yawm", or "heaven" if you want to call it that.)

Once the "Txiv Tawv Kev" is done, by which time it is around noon, there is a lunch break.  Then it is "Txiv Qeej" turn.  He is responsible for two very important reed songs; "Zaj Qeej Tu Siav" (Last Breath Song) and "Zaj Qeej Quab Ke" (Leading/Showing the Way).  Again, both of these reed songs tell of the world's creation and how death became a part of human existence, and finally leading the deceased through the "land of darkness" to "heaven".  (I do not play the "qeej", or know these reed songs literally, but did try to learn once and this is what my "qeej" master told me.)

Day 2:  Hnub tos "Hauv Qhua" (Reception Day of All Grievers)  --  The very first person who must enter before anyone else is "Txiv Cuab Tsav".  Why?  Because he is the sole person who will receive all the offerings from "cov hauv qhua" to give to the deceased.  Without him, no one else, none of the "cov hauv qhua", can enter or give any of their offerings to the deceased.  The "Txiv Cuab Tsav", is the sole person who can communicate with the deceased and it his his duty to do so  --  give all offerings to the deceased.  This day is the most busy and chaotic with all the "hauv qhua" arrivals and visiting grievers.

Once all the "hauv qhua" has arrived with their baskets and offerings, then it is time to "faib hauv qhua".  This is where all the "Hauv Qhua Txooj" and "Hauv Qhua Tab" go to a predetermined location to receive their baskets with the 2-chicken and pig being parsed out accordingly.  Know that only "Hauv Qhua Txooj" brings a pig with their 2-chicken.  The "Hauv Qhua Tab" only brings 2-chicken.  Yes, the pig and chicken must be cooked, though some pigs I have seen have not been cooked.  This is also the precise time when the "Hauv Qhua Txooj" will be formally informed that they have a cattle to slaughter and that they will also be tasked to sit at the table -- "lub rooj hais xim" -- and that they are to have their representative, "tus kis", sit there when that time arrives.

This is basically it for day 2.  The reed songs played throughout the day and evening are basically "qeej zov hmo".  That is to say, reed songs to entertain the guests and accompany the day and night.  Yes, there are three rather important reed songs played starting on day 2.  They are: "zaj qeej tshais", "zaj qeej su", "zaj qeej hmo", literally "breakfast song", "lunch song", and "dinner song" for the deceased to eat, like a living person having 3-meals a day.

Day 3:  Hnub Rub Rooj Hais Xim thiab Foom Kom (The Table's Inquiry and Songs of Blessing) --  This does not start until around noon, however, early in the morning, the process of slaughtering all the cattle has already begun.  Each cattle slaughtered will be overseen by the "kav xwm" so that they are parsed out accordingly.  Each cattle slaughtered, technically, is suppose to be offered to the deceased to take with him/her to the afterlife.  That said, it rest solely on the deceased when they are still alive, to let immediate family members know how much they want -- meaning precisely which cattle they want offered to them.  The two mandatory ones that must be offered are:  "Cuab Tsav" and/or "Muam Phauj/Txiv Dab Laug".  ("I want to make a point here for the ladies, because when you got married, that cattle in $monetary$ form was already given to you -- your husband -- by your parents, so that on your deathbed, for sure you must get this cattle.  Today that's typically $1000 dollars."  There is a precise Hmong term for this, but I forgot it.  No, it is not "phim cuam", though it is part of it.)

I also want to make a point about all the slaughtered cattle.  Yes, 3-ribs, "peb daim tav", must be given to "cov txiv qeej".  That is why you see so many ribs cut up exactly in that amount.  Additionally, the meat, the portion that does not belong to "tsev xyom cuab", are to be evenly divided among all of the "kav xwm", "tshwj kab", and "niam ua mov".  Say if there are 4 persons per group, then that equates to 16 piles of meat.  (I am going to bite my tongue here and not make any comments about a lot of what I have heard, witnessed, and have been formally informed about this process.  All I will say is, this somewhat explains why in some cases, meat just seems to "vanish" despite say 8-12 cattle being slaughtered.)

Another very important fact/point I want to make is that each of these assigned cattle are suppose to be cooked for all the guests to eat.  And that task falls one on the person, "tus hauv qhua ntawd", responsibility .  Yes, they can do it themselves if they wish or they can reassign it to the "tshwj kab kav xwm".  The latter is the preferred method nowadays.  The persons, "cov hauv qhua", who all has to do this are all of the "Hauv Qhua Txooj" -- basically anyone who has been asked and tasked to kill a cattle.  You, if you are one of the "Qhua Txooj", DO NOT keep the meat for your own personal consumption.  The rule of thump is that after you have cooked your share if there is any remaining meat, then yes, you can keep that.  However, the norm is that, all the meat will be used in various ways which I won't get into.

Later in the afternoon, say around 4pm or 5pm, is when they will start to setup the table for "rub rooj hais xim".  A very important (mandatory) prerequisite is the singing of the song "zaj tswm/ceem qeej" by the "kav xwm" to the "txiv qeej".  Basically, this song informs the reed players to postpone and stop playing their reed songs and to thank them because now it is time to setup the table.  Once this is done, the table is setup, and the "kav xwm", will announce and formally invite each of the "Hauv Qhua Txooj" representative s to come and sit at their assigned seat.  They sit in this order from left to right:  Txiv Tuam Pem Xov Swm, Muam Phauj or Txiv Dab Laug or vice versa, Xov Txiv Dab or Cuas Nyab Cuas Ntxhais (note, only certain Hmong have Cuas Nyab Cuas Ntxhais), Txiv Qeej, Txiv Txiag (note Txiv Qeej and Txiv Txiag don't sit nowadays), Yawg Xeev Txwj Laug or Hauv Nom, and finally Txiv Thwv.

Once all the persons at the table have "txheeb kev iab kev daw", which can take hours, then either the "Muam Phauj or Txiv Dab Laug", will sing a blessing song to the "tsev xyom cuab".  Afterwards, "Yawg Xeev Txwj Laug or Hauv Nom", will sing the song "tuam rooj" -- literally "kicking the table".  Once he is done, then "Txiv Coj Xai", will come and sing the song "tsa rooj nom rooj tswv" -- literally "raising the table of kings", but technically it is "wealth and prosperity".  And from this point on, the "Txiv Coj Xai" sings all of his songs, from how the deceased is a loving mother/father, to how his kids should love one another, to the "blessings" aka "foom kom".

This leads into Day 3, because by the time "Txiv Coj Xai" is done, it's roughly about 5AM the next day already.

--- ok, I gotta run.  To be continued whenever I get back ... ua tsaug ...   :)
i'd just thought i add that precised hmong term for that money phij cuam nrog tu ntxhais mus ua neej. It's called lub "Ncauj Tsiag"



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Offline theking

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Re: Roles of tshwj kab & kav xwm
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2013, 03:02:48 PM »
i'd just thought i add that precised hmong term for that money phij cuam nrog tu ntxhais mus ua neej. It's called lub "Ncauj Tsiag"

Oh no you didn't  ;D ...

Do we dare say he was wrong and risk his rambling, nitpicking, and whining episodes  ;D ...



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Offline ncokoj08

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Re: Roles of tshwj kab & kav xwm
« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2013, 01:31:15 PM »
holly cow... that is a lot to read.  :D



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Offline chidorix0x

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Re: Roles of tshwj kab & kav xwm
« Reply #25 on: June 29, 2014, 03:49:00 AM »
i'd just thought i add that precised hmong term for that money phij cuam nrog tu ntxhais mus ua neej. It's called lub "Ncauj Tsiag"

***  Sorry, been gone for a while.  Finally got back so decided to checkup/follow up on PH.

Yes, the precise Hmong term is "phij cuam" -- typo in my original post.  That said, I want to clarify that "lub Ncauj Tsiag" is not part of "phij cuam" -- meaning they are uniquely independent of one another.  To put it simply, "Ncauj Tsiag" is mandatory and is part of the "Bride Price" negotiation; whereas "phij cuam", aka wedding gifts, IS NOT mandatory, and is optional, and definitely IS NOT A PART of the negotiation, though "9 out of 10 times" (actually 10/10 times) weddings gifts are given to the bride and groom.  (Sorry, I am not going to elaborate on this.)
 
Oh no you didn't  ;D ...

Do we dare say he was wrong and risk his rambling, nitpicking, and whining episodes  ;D ...

Yes, an ignoramus could care less one way or the other  ...   >:D
holly cow... that is a lot to read.  :D

See immediate comment above  ...   >:D



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