Preserving Iu-Mien Refugee Ritual and Literacy Traditions

Jeffery L. MacDonald (Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, retired)

An enduring research interest in immigration studies is the cultural disjunction between first generation refugees and their offspring. Traditional ritual is often the most difficult to pass on and sustain in the face of cultural change and language barriers between seniors who mostly speak their native language and their grandchildren who often do not. This paper traces how Chiemfinh Saechao, an Iu-Mien refugee spirit master, transmitted his shamanic traditions and rituals to the next generation in Oregon from 1989 to his death in 2019 via fokart's apprenticeships and the preservation of Iu-Mien sacred texts using collage, calligraphy, drawing, and photocopiers.

Part of 05-06 The Roots of Maturity: Pathways to Aging Creatively, Friday, November 03, 10:30 am–12:30 pm