The Hmong are animist, people who believe in souls or spirits, in their practice of religion. The Hmong believe that the spiritual world coexist with the physical world. The spirit world consists of many types of spirits that influences the human life. Some types of spirits are ancestral spirits, household spirits, spirits in nature, and evil spirits.
|Traditional Hmong life is believe to be affected by contact with supernatural beings. A person is thought to have been selected time on earth by god and receives documents to come to earth as part of a given family and clan. Ritual ceremonies are performed for the reason of pleasing the ancestral spirits. If they are pleased, they will protect the believer’s descendants from illness and natural disasters.
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Shamanism is a way to maintain communication with the spiritual world. Spirits of nature are believed to possibly cause physical and mental harm to Hmong in the disguise of illness, nightmares, and even death. To figure out the illness shamans perform rituals so they can find a proper treatment.
“While there is no standardization in Hmong religious rituals and practices, Hmong rituals usually revolve around the practices that their ancestors passed onto them. Clan and lineage variations also are prevalent between and within individual clans as practices are traditional passed down from generation to generation through oral tradition.”
Hmong also believe in afterlife. With proper guidance from Hmong musical perfomers during the funeral rituals, the souls of the deceased will come back to their ancestors for reincarnation.