Songs of Memory
Newsletter 2017
Songs of Memory
Hmong legends imply that music is a miracle,
capable of making a waterfall dry, birds numb,
and quenching a deer's thirst

 - Hong Thao

Vam Kaim Lis wields Shaman Tools
Ban Than Thong, Thailand
May 2016

Warm wishes to you from Thailand. With the full unleashing of the Hmong research, documentation, media, and collections that I have amassed for over a decade, 2017 has been a remarkable year.

Following a journey that first began in remote mountaintop villages in SE Asia before moving to my editing studio, these in-depth, integrative multi-media projects are ready to travel to the four corners of the world:
- Hmong Songs of Memory Book and Film
- Hmong Songs of Memory, Hmong Threads of Life Exhibition
- Hmong Threads of Life Article
- Presentations and Curator Walks
If you or your library, university, cultural center, or museum find inspiration in this body of work – books, recordings, film, photographs, presentations, or exhibitions – please do reach out. It would be a joy and honor to share these archives with your community.

Please enjoy this newsletter, which highlights the year in images. Buckle up!

Book and Film
Hmong Songs of Memory: Traditional Secular and Sacred Hmong Music
Book and Ethnographic Film
by Victoria Vorreiter
Resonance Press (2016)
ISBN (Book): 978-0-9981239-0-5
ISBN (Film): 978-0-9981239-1-2
Hmong Songs of Memory CD
Hmong Songs of Memory is much more than just a study of music. It is a tour de force.”
Graeme Vanderstoel
Asian Art Newspaper
“As one of the most important initiatives to counteract the spread of cultural amnesia, Victoria Vorreiter’s Hmong Songs of Memory multi-media project deserves the highest recognition and support locally and globally. For the research community, her work points the way forward to a holistic methodological practice built on interdisciplinary partnership. This work is no doubt one of the most significant archives in recent musicological writings.”
Dr. Kjell Skyllstad, Professor Emeritus
Journal of Urban Culture Research
“Encountering either of Vorreiter’s books, Hmong Songs of Memory or her 2009 work, Songs of Memory, one cannot help but open the book and become engrossed in her artistic design as well as its amazing array of eye-catching color photos. Vorreiter, however, is not just a gifted artist who made her own photographs, audio recordings, video recordings, and book designs, but also a skilled ethnologist with extensive musical training and a penchant for detail. The result is an unusual balance of solid ethnography presented artistically.”
Dr. Terry Miller, Ethnomusicologist
Kent State University
“Every year, humanity loses more traditional cultures and languages as young people leave their tribes and villages for modern city life. The oral tradition is broken, and priceless knowledge is lost. . . It’s a rare book that allows us to see and hear an ancient, still-vital culture on the edge of such profound change. Hmong Songs of Memory is one of these books.”
L. Sue Baugh, Author
Echoes of Earth
To view spreads from the Hmong Songs of Memory Book, please visit here.
To watch a preview of the Hmong Songs of Memory Film, please visit here.

To order your copy of the Hmong Songs of Memory Book and Film, please visit here.

1. Hmong Songs of Memory, Hmong Threads of Life
Book/Film Launch and Multi-media Exhibition
16 December 2016 – 30 April 2017
Tamarind Village
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Hmong Songs of Memory Exhibition
“Dear Victoria,
I must tell you that I really enjoyed the Hmong Songs of Memory, Hmong Threads of Life exhibition. It shows that it comes from your heart and passion. As a Hmong person, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart or, as the Hmong would say, from my liver.”
Kou Yang, Professor of Hmong Studies
California State University, Stanislaus
“Dear Victoria,
Your show and personal tour was a very special experience - thank you so much! I think that what you are doing is so important and so well done that more should know about it. Not only do you tackle a complex project, but also you do it with commitment, intelligence, and sensitivity. The passion shows in all the details and fine execution.”
Susan Stem, Textile Specialist
“Lovely, thoughtful and very informative exhibition! Better than what I have seen in museums. The photos and descriptions show so much caring and depth. Bravo, Victoria! You surely do your lost home justice!”
Kirsti and Steve Cook
“Deep thanks to bring to us a true world, slowly fading away. There are in it the roots of our common heritage. Its ancestral beauty and early rhythms, talking to our health. . . It takes courage and determination to do it along your years of work, never giving up and deepening tirelessly your knowledge, skills, and sharing it with us. We are so grateful you did it.”
Philippe Charpentier and Sukanya
To view a slideshow of the Hmong Songs Exhibition, please visit here.
To view a selection of photos from the Hmong Songs Exhibition, please visit here.
Opening Night at Tamarind Village
Hmong Songs of Memory Opening Night
Media Announcements
Vogue Thailand
Gavroche Magazine
Harper’s Bazaar Thailand
Chang Puak Magazine
Weekly Curator Walks
Hmong Songs of Memory Curator Walks
“Dear Victoria, Peter and I loved your exhibition. Your photographs were exquisite and moving, the artifacts were fascinating, the whole showing of how a people in hard circumstances creates a world of beauty and color. However, we were privileged indeed to be able to hear your talk, and to make one or two steps to understanding a culture which is so different from ours, where communication is so closely bound up with music, whether between themselves or with their gods. Thank you.”
Carol and Peter Waters
2. Hmong Songs of Memory, Hmong Threads of Life
International Conference on Hmong Studies
Memory, Network, & Identity of Transnational Hmong
Chiang Mai University
Opening Night Reception
4 January 2017
Hmong Songs of Memory Chiang Mai University
Dr. Yang Dao
Hmong Scholar, Activist
  Victoria with Dr. Ian Baird and Dr. Prasit Leeprecha,
Conference Organizers, and their wives
“I was profoundly amazed by the book and ethnographic film, Hmong Songs of Memory, by researcher and musician Victoria Vorreiter. And my Hmong soul was astonishingly revived, when visiting her exhibition, Hmong Songs of Memory, Hmong Threads of Life, which recalled me of my Hmong ethnic origins.”
Dr. Yang Dao, Hmong Scholar, Activist
3. Hmong Songs of Memory, Hmong Threads of Life Exhibition
13th International Conference on Thai Studies
Connectivity, Conflict & Conundrums of Thai Studies
Chiang Mai University and IIAS, Leiden, Netherlands
15-18 July 2017

10th International Convention of Asia Scholars
ASEAN - One Vision, One Identity, One Community
Chiang Mai University and IIAS, Leiden, Netherlands
20-23 July 2017
Hmong Songs of Memory Chiang Mai University
Victoria with Colleagues
from Mandalay University, Myanmar
  Carol Cassidy
Lao Textile Specialist

The Oxford Asian Textile Group Journal, No. 65, October 2016
“Hmong Threads of Life: Traditional Hmong Textiles from the Golden Triangle”

By Victoria Vorreiter
Asian Textiles Article
To read the “Hmong Threads of Life” article, please visit here.

International Convention of Asia Scholars, July 2017
Rajabhat University, November 2017
If you would like to request a Multi-media Presentation on Traditional Music or Textiles,
please view the summaries:
Songs of Memory Presentations
Songs of Memory   Threads of Life   Hmong
Songs of Memory
Threads of Life

Songs of Memory CD has been chosen to appear in the gift shop of Survival International
Songs of Memory - CD

To hear music from the Songs of Memory CD, please visit here.
To order the Songs of Memory CD, please visit here.

The thrill I have felt in creating the Hmong Songs of Memory project is matched only by the great pleasure it has been to know and work with the generous people who helped make it possible. It is said that to raise a child, “It takes a village”. In the case of the Hmong Songs of Memory project, “It takes many villages.”
Hmong Villages
I am profoundly beholden to the many Hmong shamans, musicians, headmen, ritual specialists, artisans, men, women, and children in their mountain villages in Laos and Thailand who opened their hearts and hearths to me and shared their knowledge and musical talents. A thousand times, Ua tsaug ntau.
Tamarind Village
To Tamarind Village, I offer untold thanks for showcasing the Hmong Songs of Memory, Hmong Threads of Life archives in your elegant, idyllic space. Deepest appreciation goes to:
Khun Vichien Phongsathorn, for your vision of highlighting traditional culture
Claudine Triolo, for again championing my archival projects
Vichada Sitakalin, Garnchai Asavapapol, Naruecha Ratanasila, Narong Juntaramas,
and the dream design team for your inspiring layout
Naphat Nutsati and the amazing Tamarind Village staff, for your kindest help
The Hmong Songs of Memory Project has thrived these past twelve years thanks to the steadfast belief of many who recognize the importance of preserving traditional, intangible culture and who support the work I have been doing to contribute to this end. With voice out loud, I thank you all most gratefully.
The Frankel Family Foundation
Leslie and David Bosch
Marsha and Philip Dowd
William Klausner
Liza Zinola
Terry Miller

The International Documentary Association (IDA) has accepted
The Music of the Golden Triangle project in its Fiscal Sponsorship Program
so that it receives non-profit status in the US.
IDA Letter of Endorsement

If the Songs of Memory project resonates with you,
please do consider helping these archives to grow.
Thank you kindly, Victoria.

To learn more about the Songs of Memory project
or to order the Songs of Memory materials, please visit

Songs of Memory