Among the Catawba County Library’s 2018 programs is the preservation of the artifacts and histories of the local Hmong community through digital technology.
Thanks to a grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities and in partnership with the Historical Association of Catawba County and the Digital Heritage Center of North Carolina, the library has spearheaded a series of collection events to encourage Hmong residents to share their personal items for documentation.
As these efforts continue, the library is also highlighting Hmong culture and the traditions that immigrants to America carried with them from Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. As a special treat to county residents, the library is hosting a Hmong May Day event, where these customs will be showcased. At this special after-hours presentation at the Conover Branch Library from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 18, an array of groups will stage beloved and time-honored Hmong performing arts.
The performances offer a window into Hmong dance and music and will also provide a presentation of traditional dress, jewelry, and accessories, exhibiting embroidery and sewing skills, along with cultural symbolism. The event is an opportunity to learn more about Hmong culture on a variety of fronts.
On Saturday, May 19, the fourth Hmong Collection Day will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at True Life Alliance Church at 1245 12th Street SW in Hickory. As with all collection events, people are encouraged to bring items that represent their lives and culture. These artifacts will be scanned or photographed and immediately returned to their owners. Anyone who would like to record an oral history is also welcome to share their experiences as well.
A final collection event will happen later in the summer, visit the library’s website or check out its newsletter for dates.