Sawasdeekaa from Chiang Mai, Thailand. This has been a busy year for the Songs of Memory project. Below you will see the many ways the work continues to grow in scope as it also moves into the world through journals, interviews, and exhibitions. 

Tremendous energy and time have been devoted this year to creating Hmong Songs of Memory, an educational film and book on Hmong music and ceremonies. This has required working closely with Hmong shamans, spirit specialists, and musicians, as well as skilled Hmong transcribers and translators. Two field trips were made to a Hmong village in northern Laos to gather further primary research from Shaman Tria and master musician, Nhia Hua Lee.

It has been an honor to have articles and photos published in such diverse publications as Asian Geographic Junior, NiHao Magazine, Chulalonghorn University’s Journal for Urban Culture Research, Review Vancouver, the Tamarind Newsletter, and the Global Fund for Children’s latest book, “Music Everywhere!”

“Majesty in the Mountains,” an exhibit of photographs and artifacts from the highlands of the Golden Triangle, was on display at two international conferences held at Chiang Mai University. The CMU Faculty of Social Sciences hosted 450 academics to explore the subject, “Transforming Societies in Asia and the Pacific.” The Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies organization considered the consequences of injustice and globalization for the peoples of Southeast Asia, during its forum, “Returning Dignity.”

Field Trips for “Hmong Songs of Memory” Film and Book 
1. Luang Nam Tha, Laos – September 2013

2. Luang Nam Tha, Laos – January 2014 

To give a sense of the archival work I have been doing on Hmong music and ceremonies, I offer a short excerpt from a healing ceremony, ua neeb, that I filmed. Shaman Tria Lee Yang delivered this rite by memory in a cadenced chant that is as dynamic and thrilling as any Greek epic poem. Tria begins the quest to save her grandson, Ja Khong, by assembling a massive spirit army to protect the boy’s souls from evil spirits.

(I) have called nine groups of infantry,
eight groups of cavalry.
Come down quickly, stay on the altar.

(I) have called the major mentor spirits of the Thor clan,
minor mentor spirits of the Lee clan,
major mentor spirits of the Chang clan.

(I) have called Niam Nkauj Kab Zuag Nyiaj (silver maid).
Provide information so all is understandable.

(I have called) Niam Nkauj Kab Zuag Kub (golden maid).
Provide information so all is comprehensible.
Come down quickly, stay on the altar.

(I) have called
Niam Nkauj Txawg, skilled in picking herbs against Ntxoog (evil maid).
Nraug Txawj, skilled in picking herbs against tigers.

(I) have called swallows with straight wings,
to circle (the sky), to shield Vaj Neeb (shaman title).

Land in the rafters of Siv Yig’s house.
Bring the spirit lamp to distant lands.

Lighten the world of Siv li Yig (supreme Shaman Spirit).

Articles with Photographs appeared in the following:
1. “Music Everywhere!”
by Global Fund for Children
February 2014

2. “When Deep Blue Comes from Deep Green:
Indigo Colors the World of the Lenten”

Asian Geographic Junior, Issue 26
May 2013

3. “A Balance Between Two Worlds: Spirit Houses”
Tamarind Newsletter
October 2013

4. “Traditional Culture of the Peoples of the Golden Triangle”
NiHao, Issue No. 2
November 2013

5. “Reach Back, Reach Deep, Reach Out:
The Songs of Memory Project in the Community

The Journal of Urban Culture Research (JUCR)
Chulalonghorn University, Bangkok
July 2014

Interview with Victoria
Review Vancouver
February 2014

Exhibitions of Photos and Artifacts
1. Majesty in the Mountains
International Conference, 50th Year Celebration
CMU Faculty of Social Sciences
Chiang Mai University, Thailand
February 2014 

2. Majesty in the Mountains
23rd Annual Conference
Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies
Chiang Mai University, Thailand
March 2014

Heartfelt Thanks
 to the many people who help support the Songs of Memory project over the years
The Leslie and David Bosch Foundation
Frankel Family Foundation
        I remain profoundly grateful to you for renewing your belief in my archival project this year. Truly, thank you so much.

Unsung Heroes and Heroines 
Wayne Madsen, Dr. Kjell  Skyllstad, Dr. Prasit Leepreecha, Dr. Chayan Vaddhanaphuti, Chanida Puranapun and colleagues at RCSD, Dick Thomas, Barry Brooks, Marsha and Phil Dowd, Paula Kahn, Tim Davies, Bennett Lerner, Sue Baugh, Pornthip Saehang, and Thikanya Supol. 
        I offer you my deepest thanks for encouraging my work and life in untold ways.

It continues to be a great privilege to bring awareness of the rich traditional culture of the mountain peoples of the Golden Triangle to others around the world through the Songs of Memory project.
Expanding this body of work over the year with the Hmong Songs of Memory book and film has been a fascinating and humbling experience. I so look forward to sharing these with you when they are completed.
Until our next visit, I wish you well and send my warmest thoughts, Victoria

Copyright © 2014 Victoria Vorreiter - The Resonance Project, All rights reserved.
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