Research Report

RCSD Research Report 2: Commercializing Hmong Used Clothing

The Transnational Trade in Hmong Textiles across the Mekong Region

The trade in Hmong clothing is transnational in nature, and involves the participation of Hmong and non-Hmong people from China, Thailand and Laos. This study investigates the importance of ethnic affiliation in the organization of the Hmong clothing trade network, and the changes that have taken place within the ethnic groups involved as their cultures have become ‘capitalized’. As a result, this paper addresses many important issues such as the roles assigned to the different ethnic groups, how they cooperate with each other, how their profits are distributed, the different perspectives held by the actors involved, and the impacts the clothing trade has had on the Hmong communities and their culture. To explore these issues, this study follows the trade route for Hmong clothing, and examines the processes through which Hmong textiles have become commercialized. By using this approach, this study situates the changes taking place in the relevant ethnic cultures, within the broader context of globalization and modernization.

Publication date : April 2010
Price : 180 Baht / 7 US$