The Meeting with Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy: A Case Study of Syncretism in the Hmong System of Beliefs The Meeting with Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy A Case Study of Syncretism in the Hmong System of Beliefs

Kao-Ly Yang, Hmong, Kao-Ly Yang
Studies Journal   unpublished
The analyses of the shamanistic liturgy, the myths of creation, the funeral chants txiv xaiv, the wedding chants, zaj tshoob 2 , and the folktales (dab neeg) show that Hmong cosmology is composed of three worlds connected by the central pillar of the house, or axis mundi in the Hmong culture. The shaman would be the only live being capable of traveling back and forth, crossing a symbolic bridge, in a state of temporary disembodiment (Moréchand, 1968: 177-200; Lemoine, 1972 , Mottin, 1980) : 1.
more » ... he World of the Above is situated in the sky where reside the supernatural beings such as Shao (Saub) "The One Who Knows Everything", Chee Yee (Siv Yis), the first shaman, the couple Gaodjoua 3 (Nkauj Ntsuab) and SheeNah (Sis Nab), celestial beings such as Lady Kaying (Niam Nkauj Kab Yeeb), and God (Ntuj) the creator. The celestial world is the reflection of the human world with the same types of places, people, needs, etc. 2. The World of the Middle, e.g. the Earth, is where human beings (neeg), and good and bad spirits or genii (dab) and ghosts (dab 4 ) co-live. Among the good/domesticated genii (dab nyeg), there are the shamanistic genii, domestic genii or tutelary spirit protectors of the house. Outside the house, there are supernatural genii who are not always bad in intent (dab qus), guardians and inhabitants of the surroundings such as the spirits of the river (dab dej), of the forest (dab hav zoov) and of the mountain and valley (dab roob dab hav).