Hmong Rituals: Birth, Marriage, Death, Healing

Hmong Birth: Welcoming the Baby

The Hmong people believe that the Dab Pog, a spirit world couple, are responsible for bringing children to their Hmong parents.  As the story goes, a young girl felt ready to get married yet her parents did not approve of it. The parents made a pact with the Dab Pog and the Xwm Kab, household spirits, to stall her marriage. The daughter asked both the Dab pog and the Xwm Kab to allow her to marry and both refused her, but she was persistent and eventually the Dab Pog agreed and told her that they would cast a spell on her parents into deep sleep so that she can sneak out and marry. The daughter did this and was married off. The next morning the parents woke up so enraged at the Dab Pog that the spirit couple left.1

Because of this, the Dab Pog no longer surrounds the house like the Xwm Kab. But still, whenever a child is born, there must be a Hu Plig ceremony to call the Dab Pog to come welcome the baby into the house and to thank them for blessing the couple with the baby.

  1. Dia Cha, "The Hmong 'Dab Pog Couple' Story and its Significance in Arriving at an Understanding of Hmong Ritual" Hmong Studies Journal 2003, 4:1-20