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There is no stereotype of a typical Hmong leader. But the Hmong usually described their leaders having these qualities:
– “Noj tau, hais tau” – He does as he says and says as he does; be accountable; lead by example;
– “Siab loj, siab dav” – Kind and considerate;
– “Coj lus taug” – controlled and diplomatic in what he says;
– “Coj ncaj” – just and fair play in all dealings;
– “Nyiam kwv tij neej ntsa, nyiam phooj nyiam ywg” – sociable and mix well with all;
– “Paub kev cai” – know the rules/customs/norms; ect..
In the Hmong society, the leader is responsible for all the conducts of his members – for example, when a member is in trouble, the leader step in and accept responsibility and solve the problem. He also face any consequence – and this consequence become a life time record for that family.
— Pao Saykao, Hmong Leadership: The Traditional Model. Click Here for FULL Article.
Definition of a Leader
1) the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country
2) a person who leads as a guide or conductor
3) a person who has commanding authority or influence
4) a person followed by others
5) a person who directs a military force or unit
Although I named this section “Hmong Leaders”, not all of Hmong figures in here are actually real leader. Some of them are actually consider as influential people because they became the first to accomplish or achieve something great for the Hmong people. Those people do not have followers, but they do have many people who respect them for their achievement. Example below…
Lo BliaYao – one of the very first Hmong to receive a government position in Laos.
Dr. Yang Dao – first Hmong to obtain a doctorate degree.
Mee Moua – first Hmong to be elected as a State Senator in Minnesota
There are two Hmong figures in here that are considered to be a leader because of their governmental position that they earned and received. Their action within the government that they are involved in had made a difference for the lives of the Hmong people during their time. Example below…
Touby Lyfoung – Minister of Social Welfare in the Laos government.
Tou Geu Lyfoung – Director General of the Ministry of Justice in Laos
A couple figures in here are considered to be a leader in the Hmong community because of a particular notable action or accomplishment that they made for the entire Hmong people. Their specific accomplishment is widely known by all the Hmong in the world. Example below…
Pa Chay Vu – Lead the Hmong to fight against corrupted government officials during the French Colonized Southeast Asia.
Lee Lue – The Hmong greatest air combat fighter in Laos.
Pa Kao Her – was the leader of the Hmong Chao Fa movement in Laos after the communist Pathet Lao took power in 1975. He was assassinated in 2002 in Thailand.
Zong Zoua Her – was the leader of the Hmong Chao Fa movement in Laos after his brother Pa Kao Her was assassinated in 2002 in Thailand.
Dr. PobZeb Vang – Made the United Nations recognized Hmong as the proper term for the Hmong people.
The last group of figures in this section do meet the criteria listed in the definition of a leader above. They are either a General or powerful figure that influenced many followers and accomplishment many great things.
Chi You Di – Mythical Miao/Hmong king that lead its people during his time.
Wu Ba Yia – A Miao/Hmong leader that lead its people to fight against the Ching government in China for equality and democracy.
Zhang Xiumei – A Miao/Hmong General that lead its people to fight against the Ching government in China for equality and democracy in the 1850’s.
General Vang Pao – The great major General that lead the Hmong to fight against the Communist Pathet Lao in the Secret War during 1961-1975. He is also highly respected for his accomplishment that brought over 100,000 Hmong people to the United States.