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Dia's Story Cloth: The Hmong People's Journey of Freedom

By Dia, Chue, and Nhia Thao Cha


For centuries, needlework has been part of Hmong culture. But it has only been since the war in Vietnam and Laos, which displaced many Hmong, that the new, narrative form of ''story cloths'' has emerged, a bridge between past and present.

Dia Cha and her family experienced this displacement. Born in Laos, Dia fled with her family to Thailand as a child, spending four years in a refugee camp before arriving in the U.S. Her story is shared by many Hmong Americans.

As told through the story cloth stitched by her aunt and uncle, the Hmong people's search for freedom began long ago in China. Dia’s Story Cloth explores many aspects of the Hmong experience from peace and war in Asia to new beginnings in America. Through Dia's story, young children can see that the search for freedom transcends all cultures.

This book includes a compendium of Hmong culture: their history, traditions, and stitchery techniques.

Teacher's Guide

Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC)

"Pick of the Lists"
American Bookseller

Children's Book of Distinction Finalist
Hungry Mind Review

Children's Book of the Year
Bank Street College

Notable Children's Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies

More awards...
Interest Level
Grades 1 - 6
Reading Level
Grades 2 - 3
Asian/Asian American Interest, Immigration, War, Nonfiction
Accelerated Reader
Level: 4.7
Points: .5
About the Creators

Dia, Chue, and Nhia Thao Cha were born in Laos. In 1975, Dia fled with her family to Thailand, where they spent over four years in the Ban Vinai refugee camp before gaining entry to the United States. Her uncle and aunt, Chue and Nhia Thao Cha (not pictured), made this story cloth in 1990 in the Chiang Kham refugee camp in Thailand. They have since returned to Laos. Dia works as a cultural anthropologist in Boulder, Colorado.

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