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The Hmong Qeej: Speaking to the Spirit World

Author(s): Gayle Morrison

Journal: Hmong Studies Journal
ISSN 1091-1774

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 1997;
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Keywords: Hmong Studies | Hmong music | Hmong culture

This investigation focuses on the unique communicativeability of the Hmong qeej, a free-reed multiple pipe musicalinstrument. Other forms of the qeej are used by variousSoutheast Asian cultures, but only the Hmong appear to use itto communicate in words with the spirit world.This study is based on oral interviews with Hmong qeejplayers, focusing on one master qeej player. Discussionreviews the origin legend of the qeej, legendary powers ofthe instrument, the mystery of the qeej language, training ofa qeej player, qualifications of a master qeej player, genreof qeej songs, the role of the qeej in the funeral ceremony,and the qeej as the consumate Hmong cultural identifier.

Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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