HMONG NEW YEAR, a collection of photographs capturing Hmong New Year.
This festival celebration happens each year to welcome in the New Year and end of the harvest. It is one of the biggest social events of the year, as many Hmong people are farmers and work very hard.
Hmong dress in traditional clothing and enjoy traditional foods, dance, music and games. Girls take part in talent shows and have especially decorative handmade clothing.
They play a game called pov pob. Boys and girls form two separate lines in pairs that are directly facing one another. The ball is thrown so that the other player can catch it with one hand. If the throw is good and the other player drops or misses the ball, an ornament or a piece of silver or a belt from his or her costume is given to the opposite player in the pair. Ornaments are recovered by singing traditional courting songs to the opposite player. Through playing this game, the youngsters get to know each other, forming relationships that may eventually lead to marriage.
If the boy throws the ball and the girl makes no attempt to catch it, then he has been rejected. Men can play this game with multiple women as they can have multiple wives.