The Split Horn Summary

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In the documentary, “The Split Horn: Life of a Hmong Shaman in America,” portrays the journey of an immigrant Hmong family battling to maintain their cultural traditions alive in the United States. In the Hmong culture, it is believed that every individual has seven souls and if they have an illness, for example sickness, it means that their soul has departed or taken by evil spirits. Hmong people believe in Shamans, who are gifted and respected people who can make contact with their ancestors and return the lost souls of people. In this documentary, the main character Paja Thao is a shaman who is challenged by American customs to keep his cultural Hmong traditions alive and pass it down to his children. Paja becomes sick because he feels like his children don’t care about the Hmong tradition anymore because they don’t participate in his rituals and realizes his children have assimilated to the American culture. The different ways one can look at Paja’s illness is by acknowledging the Hmong culture and by looking at the perspective of the biomedical world. …show more content…

In my opinion, the cure worked because the ritual the shaman performed found his lost soul and brought it back with a lot of strength. This ceremony also brought familial unity into Paja’s life because his children showed up in this special ritual and made Paja realize his children still love and care for him. That even though they have moved on his children will forever love him and not forget about his cultural traditions. Likewise, the ceremony brought his soul back because after a year he was returned to performing shamanistic chants and reaching out to his ancestors. I believe family plays a huge role in ones’ wellness. The unity of family can break barriers and have a huge effect in ones’ life because familial unity creates

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