There's a beautiful and moving display of Hmong textiles including a number of large story quilts on exhibit at Blue Bar Quilts on Madison's west side. Some works are for sale as a fund-raiser for Kajsiab House and the local Cambodian Temple. Journey Mental Health Center announced in August it was closing Kajsiab House after 18 years of operation. Currently Madison City Council has covered the funding for the rest of the year. In the meantime, members of the Hmong and larger Madison community are looking for solutions to the funding cut.
Kajsiab House serves over 150 members of the Madison Hmong community, including refugees and veterans who fought for the U.S. in the Vietnam War. Through Kajsiab House, community members can access wrap-around services like English classes, meals and community discussions in addition to culturally sensitive mental health counselling and therapy.
These are a few of the pieces I saw when I was shopping at Blue Bar earlier this week.
Story quilts are among the most well-known of Hmong textile arts. Sometimes they include text like this one.
They are usually brightly embroidered awash with figures, domestic and agricultural landscapes as well as glimpses of the larger, historical context of this group's experiences during war in Southeast Asia.
The Mekong River wends its way through this quilt.
The information for this story was taken from Madison Newspapers website.