ST. PAUL (May 19, 2013) — In April 2013 Hmong Cultural Center was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the Qeej Videos Project.
The Qeej Videos Project involves innovative uses of new models, technology, and new media to document and preserve and teach about Hmong folk and traditional arts. It is the goal of the Hmong Qeej Video Website project to promote increased knowledge of and interest in the Hmong Qeej Instrument and the Hmong Folk Arts Tradition among Hmong and non-Hmong children, youth and adults in Minnesota and the United States more generally.
“The National Endowment for the Arts through its funding support will allow the Hmong Cultural Center to teach young Hmong Americans and interested non-Hmong about the rich Hmong folk arts tradition and the intrinsic historic importance of the Qeej instrument to Hmong life and ceremonial culture,” said Txongpao Lee, executive director, Hmong Cultural Center.
The project will build and significantly expand Hmong Cultural Center’s multimedia arts website www.learnabouthmong.net and associated YouTube Channel with the filming and development of performance videos and English narrative information related to the cultural significance of the canon of 16 Qeej instrument songs that are part of the Hmong funeral ceremony.
Performers to be filmed as part of the project include Chai Lee and Aranvihn Tou Thoj, Qeej instructors at Hmong Cultural Center along with students enrolled in the Qeej instructional program at Hmong Cultural Center.
The Qeej Funeral Ceremony songs to be filmed for the project include the following from the Qeej Program Curriculum: Ntiv – Notes; Nuj Nrws – Storytelling; Xub – Cause of Death; Lwm Qab Nruas – Walking forward under the Drum; Qeej Tshais – Telling the Deceased to Have Breakfast; Zais Roj Xais Hneev – Hidden Footsteps of the Qeej Player; Lwm Qab Nruas Rov Qab – Returning Under the Drum; Cob Tsiaj – Offering Animals to the Deceased; Hlawv Ntawv – Offering Joss Paper to the Deceased; Ntaus Rog – Getting Rid of Evil Spirits; Cob Rog – Informing the Qeej Player; Tsuj Rog – Song to Resurrect the Horse; Tsa Nees – Departure of the Deceased; Sawv Kev – Journey to the Ancestors; Qeej Tu Siav – Offering Oxen to the Deceased and Lwm Nyuj – Song for the Oxen. Mitch Lee of the Hmong Broadcasting Company (HBC-TV) will serve as Videographer for the project.
Hmong Cultural Center was founded in 1992, with a mission is to promote the personal development of children, youth, and adults through Hmong cultural education while providing resources that enhance cross-cultural awareness and understanding between Hmong and non-Hmong persons.
In early 2012, HCC earned “Meets Standards” Status from the Charities Review Council and is currently the only Hmong organization in Minnesota with this status. The center’s website is at www.hmongcc.org.
The community is very welcome to visit HCC, enroll in our programs and use its in house and online Hmong Resource Center Library. To learn more about programs at Hmong Cultural Center call 651-917-9937 or stop by the center at 995 University Avenue, Suite 214 in Saint Paul.