Embroidered Stories: Hmong Fiber Arts

An embroidered story cloth by Pang Xiong Sirirathasuk Sikoun. The cloth depicts scenes of life, such as cleaning and cooking, throughout the cloth.
A large golden necklace, a piece of Hmong jewelry by Pang Xiong Sirirathasuk Sikoun.
An embroidered, woven belt with coins hanging from the ends. The belt is a piece of Paj Ntaub work by Pang Xiong Sirirathasuk Sikoun.

October 4 through December 31, 2019

Open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In the Down Jersey Folklife Center

The exhibition features paj ntaub artworks and jewelry created by Hmong master artist and teacher, Pang Xiong Sirirathasuk Sikoun. The Hmong words paj ntaub (pronounced pa ndau) translate to “flowery cloth,” describing a combined use of appliqué, reverse appliqué, batik, and embroidery techniques to decorate traditional Hmong clothing.

Many of Pang Xiong’s paj ntaub works are created as “story cloths.” Hung as wall panels, they incorporate figurative and symbolic images to provide visual narratives on a wide range of themes—folk tales and legends, depictions of Hmong family clans, scenes from nature or Hmong village life; stories of the Hmong peoples’ migrations, narratives of wars, and painful journeys from farming villages to refugee camps. Pang Xiong’s visual representations of the Hmong oral history, folklore and life experiences are both educational and inspiring.

Demonstration on Saturday, October 5 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Paj Ntaub: Hmong Embroidery and Reverse Appliqué with Pang Xiong Sirirathasuk Sikoun

Watch as Master Hmong artist Pang Xiong demonstrates the techniques associated with the intricate Hmong textile arts known as Paj Ntaub. Attendees will have the opportunity to experience the creative process using paper-based materials. This demonstration takes place during the annual Festival of Fine Craft, general admission is required.

The “Embroidered Stories: Hmong Fiber Arts” exhibit is part of the Down Jersey Folklife Center’s “Near and Far: Arts and Cultures of East Asia” project, presented in partnership with Cumberland County Cultural and Heritage Commission and Atlantic County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs. Major support for this partnership project has been provided by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.  Additional project support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Cumberland County Cultural & Hertiage Commission, NJSCA, and New Jersey Historical Commission logos