Hmong culture and history are being celebrated at the La Crosse Public Library over the next month.
The Hmong Diaspora exhibit officially opened on Sunday at the library. Organizer Yia Vue says the story of how the Hmong came from Asia to Wisconsin is explored by this project.
“We started with a history back in the old country, and then we brought it to the present here in La Crosse, and we highlighted a lot of history of the Hmong in La Crosse as well,” she says.
Vue says the exhibit on textiles describes “why certain materials were used, what was going on in history at that time.”
The Hmong people have been part of the La Crosse area for more than 40 years, since refugees from Laos began arriving in 1980.
After the current exhibit ends in late February, the library will maintain a permanent collection of Hmong-related books, according to library staffer Barry McKnight, “the beginnings of a collection that is by Hmong authors, with fiction, non-fiction, and also other materials that are of particular interest to the Hmong community.”