King Chi You
King Chi You is an ancient hero of the Hmong people in China. King Chi You, along with Huang Di and Yan Di, is regarded as one of the three great ancestors of the Chinese Nation.
King Chi You was a key descendant of the Hmong nationality. It is believed he was the chieftain of a tribal alliance formed by several nationalities in southern China about 5000 years ago.
King Chi You still retains an important place in Hmong mythology and customs.
Chang Chi Mieng
Hang Da Du
Pa Kao Her
Zong Zoua Her
Kue Cha Tsia
- Younger brother of Tasseng Kue Joua Kao and successor of Joua Kao to became the tasseng of Phak Koua after the passing of Tasseng Kue Joua Kao. Howeer, Cha Tsia later relinquished the position to Ly Foung in 1929 due to a great suffered of a tax shortfall of two hundred thousand kip because of a drought that had wiped out a substantial portion of the Hmong’s opium fields.
- Ly Foung’s third wife
- Daughter of Kue Tsong Lia
Kue Joua Kao
- Leader of the Kue Clan during the era of Lo Blia Yao & Ly Foung
- Kue Joua Kao became Tasseng of Phak Boua, Nong Het in 1926
Kue Tsong Lia
- Village Chief of De Mua Tha in 1921
- Ly Foung became Tasseng of Phak Boua, Nong Het in 1929, three years after serving as Kue Joua Kao’s secretary after resigned his position as secretary under Blia Yao Lo’s tasseng of Keng Khoai. This position was passing to him from Cha Tsia Kue after Chia Tsia suffered a tax shortfall of two hundred thousand kip because of a drought that had wiped out a substantial portion of the Hmong’s opium fields.
- Ly Foung became Tasseng of Keng Khoai years later in 1936, when Tsong Tou relinquished his position as Tasseng of Keng Khoai due to another tax shortfall.
Family and Personal Life
Choua Kue (Third wife)
Nao Chao Lyfoung
Pa Ge Lyfoung
Nao Kao Lyfoung
Mao Song Lyfoung
Mr. Lyfoung was a Hmong political leader. He was born in 1917 in Nong Het, Laos. He graduated from a French high school in Vinh, North Vietnam and he attended an administration training in Vientiane, the capital of Laos.
In 1940, Mr. Lyfoung was elected as Chief of Nong Het District in Xieng Khouang province, Laos. In 1945, he organized the antiJapanese resistance in the Xieng Khouang plateau. As a result, in 1964 he was appointed Deputy Governor of Xieng Khouang province and became Chaomoung (Mayor) of the Hmong population.
Lyfoung took sides with the Royal Lao Government to fight the Communists in Laos and led a Hmong anti-Communist movement against the Pathet Lao. In 1958, Mr Lyfoung won the legislative elections in Xieng Khouang province and was elected as Vice-President of the National Assembly. In 1960, he served as Minister of Justice and Social Welfare. In 1961, he became Minister of Health. In 1964, he joined the King’s Council. In 1972, he was appointed as the Inspector General of the Southern Province in the Ministry of the Interior. In 1974, he served as Deputy Minister of Telecommunication in the Provisional Government of the National Union.
Mr. Lyfoung was not only a Laotian national political leader. His contribution to building modern Laos is universally known. His efforts focused on the integration of all ethnic groups into the Laotian nation. In 1939, he built the first village school in Nong Het for the Hmong and minority ethnic groups and developed the school system in the Xieng Khouang plateau.
As a politician, Touby Lyfoung participated in the peace process and worked toward the Laotian National Reconciliation in 1974. After the takeover of Laos by the Communist Pathet Lao in 1975, he was arrested and sent to a labor camp along the Vietnamese border where he died in 1979.
Mr. Lyfoung was a man who offered strong political leadership and a great sense of responsibility. He was a role-model for today’s Hmong leaders and for generations to come. Text prepared by Hmong Pride Connection.
- Born in Laos, graduated f/ a French High School in Vietnam
- 1939:Built the 1st school in Nong Het
- 1945: organized Japanese resistance
- 1958: won legislative election and elected VP of National Assembly
- 1960- Minister if Justice & Social Welfare
- 1961- Minister of Health
- 1964- Mayor of the Hmong population; appointed to the King’s Council
- Arrested after communist takeover in 1975, sent to a labor camp and died there in 1979.
Ly Dra Pao
Nao Chao Lyfoung
- Lyfoung eldest son
- Nao Chao became Tasseng Phak Boua in 1930, however this position was not official until the death of Lo Blia Yao in 1935, when his father Ly Foung became the Tasseng of Keng Khoai and dominated the leadership of Nong Het.
By: Mai Na M. Lee *Tougeu Lyfoung, interview with author, Herblay, France, 9 & 10 July 2002.
Phaya Tougeu Lyfoung was the seventh of ten children born to Va Yang [Vab Yaj], Ly Foung’s first of four wives.* Tougeu was born in the district of Nong Het in March 1921. Ly Foung, Tougeu’s father, first instilled the value of education upon him and his brothers by hiring a private tutor to instruct them in Lao. Later, Tougeu, Toulia, and Touby attended primary school in Xieng Khouang where they learned French.
From Xieng Khouang, Tougeu went on to obtain a baccalaureate at the secondary school in Vinh and, then, a two-year degree in agriculture at Hanoi. From 1957 to 1960, Tougeu would obtain further training in law at the Ecole Nationale France Outre Mer in Paris. In the meantime, however, Tougeu returned from Hanoi to Laos on the eve of the Japanese occupation to find himself on the side of the French. He became an anti-Japanese resistance leader, serving in the battlefield next to Free French officers like Maurice Gauthier, Jean Sassi, and Andre Chenivesse from 1945-48.
Tougeu’s collaboration with the French was fully recognized by the French government in 1998 when he was awarded the distinguished French medal of honor, being inducted as chevalier de la Legion d’honneur. Tougeu’s brother, Touby, had already gotten this medal in 1945. After Tougeu’s immigration to France in 1975, Lieutenant-Colonel Chenivesse felt that Tougeu deserved equal recognition and led the investigative work to petition the French government to extend the same honor to him.
Following the conclusion of World War II when Laos became an independent state, Tougeu Lyfoung found the honor as well as the heavy burden of national leadership upon his shoulders. Being noted among the only half dozen or so Laotian intellectuals with his level of education, Tougeu was immediately summoned by His Majesty King Sisavang Vong to be an advisory member of the King’s Council. Tougeu felt enormously honored for he was the first minority called to occupy a position that had traditionally been the exclusive preserve of royal princes, and he served the king dutifully from 1948 to 1951. From this initial appointment, Tougeu Lyfoung went on to occupy many distinguished positions in the Royal Lao government some of which included being provincial representative (1951-55), public prosecutor (1956-57), and general director of the Ministry of Justice (1960-75). Because of his educational pursuit in different places, Tougeu Lyfoung was fluent in many languages including Hmong, Lao, French, Vietnamese, and English. Tougeu Lyfoung died in 2004.
A warrior, without fear and courageous. These are the words historians and colleagues use frequently to describe Hmong T-28 pilot Lee Lue. In his brief piloting career, it is estimated that Lee Lue flew more than 5,000 combat missions. His significance to the secret war effort in Laos was considerable. A quarter century after Lee Lue’s death, those who know of his heroics still speak in awe of his contributions to the war. This is the story of an ordinary man who through his exploits became a legend, earning the respect and admiration of many.
Lee Lue was born sometime in 1935 to Chong Ger Lee and his wife Pa Vang in Xieng Khouang Province’s Phou Pheng village. After giving birth to three children, Lee Lue’s mother suddenly passed away. Chong Ger valued his wife’s relatives enormously. Fearing that the relationship with Pa’s relatives might grow distant after her death, in 1947, Chong Ger requested the engagement of his son Lee Lue to his brother-in-law’s daugther Jou. “We never dated before we got married,” Jou recalled. She said their villages were separated by a whole day’s journey on foot so Lee Lue and she didn’t get to see each other often. They were further separated in 1953 when Lee Lue’s family moved to Xieng Khouang City after the Vietnamese invaded Laos. After the war ended in 1955, Jou and Lee Lue were finally married. Their first child, a son named Ze, was born two years later.
Lee Lue was only one of a handful of Hmong to receive an education. He studied in Xieng Khouang City with other Hmong students and when he finished the ninth grade, he enrolled in teacher training school. In 1959, he took a position as an elementary school teacher in Lat Houng.
In 1967, when Touby Lyfoung and (General) Vang Pao requested volunteers for flight training in the larger, faster T-28s; Lee Lue and Vang Toua volunteered. Within six months of intensive training, Lee Lue and Vang Toua became the first two Hmong T-28 fighter pilots. Lee Lue excelled quickly and became arguably the best T-28 bomber pilot in the country. With stellar accomplishments, he was promoted to be the leader of the Chaophakaow.
As Lee Lue continued to be successful flying aerial support for ground troops, his reputation and fame grew. According to Christopher Robbin’s book, The Ravens, respect for Lee Lue and his skills was shared by everyone, not just the Hmong. Seasoned American pilots marveled at what Lee Lue was able to achieve. “They’ll never get me,” Lee Lue was quoted as having said..”…I’m too good.”
On July 11, 1969 one of the darkest days of the secret war came and the unimaginable occurred, Lee Lue was finally shot down in his airplane.
- Born in 1935 in Xieng Khoung
- 1959: one of the few literate Hmong; was in elementary teacher in Lat Houng
- 1967: volunteered for flight training
- Was a Hmong T-28D pilot. He flew more than 5,000 combat missions providing aerial support to ground troops
- 1969: killed during combat
Ly Nhia Vu
Ly Pa Yia
Ly Tong Pao
- Abandoning Tougeu Lyfoung and French
- Aiding in brutal attack on Lo Nhia Vu
- Competing with Lo Fay Dang for tasseng
- As essential for support of Touby Lyfoung
- Family suffering due to hiding of French b
- Failed to attach Lo Fay Dang
- Hid French from Japanese
- Informed Touby Lyfoung of Lo Fay Dang assuming tassing position
- As lineage leader of Tha Khu
- Subclan rejection of Ly Dra Pao
- Verbal reprimand to Tougeu Lyfoung
Ly Tsong Na
- Son of Ly Nhia Vu
Ly Xia Foung (Ly Tsia Foung)
Ly Xia Foung was born in 1888 in the village of Ha Klua Lia, Nong Het, Laos. He was a very well respected person in the Hmong community and was one of the first Hmong to gain a prominent position in Lao society.
Ly Xia Foung was a farmer, craftsman and a traveling tradesman. He helped the Hmong minority liaison with the Lao government in relation to the issues of health, well-being, and education. Ly Xia Foung strongly encouraged Hmong children to attend school so they could better their lives. Ly Xia Foung was very skilled in farming, blacksmithing, carpentry, and basket weaving. He was also creatively talented in singing, playing the flute, and qeej instrument playing. He was multilingual and spoke Chinese, Laotian, and a bit of Vietnamese, in addition to Hmong. Ly Xia Foung died of tetanus in 1939, in the village of Phak Khe where he had been the District Administrator of Keng Khuai.
The photo and most of the bio information were derived from Touby Lyfoung: An Authentic Account of the Life of a Hmong Man in the Troubled Land of Laos, Touby Lyfoung Foundation, 1996.
Blia Yao Lo
Blia Yao Lor, known as Lor Kia Tong, was one of the first Hmong to assume a leadership position in the government of Laos.
Lor Kia Tong was one of the Hmong leaders allied with the French between 1919 and 1935.
Lor Kia Tong was the grandfather-in-law of Touby Lyfoung, another important Hmong leader. Lor Kia Tong died in Nong Het, Laos.
Family and Personal Life
Tsong Tou Lo
Nhia Vu Lo
- son of Lo Blia Yao from his second wife
- Leader of the “Hmong Resistance League” aligned w/ the “Free Lao” movement
- Held position of VP in 1975 in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (LPDR) government
Lo Nhia Vu
Nhiavu Lobliayao died on June 16, 1999, in Nong Het, Xieng Khouang, Laos. He had been ill off and on since October 1998, and was reportedly paralyzed before his death.
Lo Pa Tsi
Lo Shong Ger
Lo Tsong Nou
- Blia Yao half-brother
Lo Tsong Tou
- Blia Yao eldest son
- Lo Tsong Tou became Tasseng of Keng Khoai after Lo Blia Yao passed.
Cher Pao Moua (Colonel)
Moua Chong Toua
Moua Nao Tou
Moua Nhia Nou
- As Commander of Vue Pa Chay Company
- One of the 1st few Hmong women to receive formal education & first to learn English
- Served as the lead nurse to recruit and train over 100 Hmong & Lao nurses during the secret war
- Resettled in the US after the war
- In 2005, she was recognized for her role during the war
Lia Nao Vang
Vang Pao (General)
General Vang Pao was born in Laos. Vang Pao joined the anti-Japanese resistance led by Touby Lyfoung at a very young age in 1945 Vang Pao fought as a corporal, sergeant and then as an officer under the French Union Army flag against the Communist Viet Minh until 1954 when the Geneva Conference granted independence to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos Vang Pao was named a Brigade General in the Royal Lao Army in 1964. With CIA assistance, General Vang Pao led a fierce resistance to the North Vietnamese and the North Vietnamese Communists from 1961-1973. General Vang Pao left Laos in 1975. General Vang Pao is the founder of Lao Family Community, a Hmong social service organization with offices in several states.
- Born in 1930
- Joined Touby Lyfoung’s anti-Japanese resistance
- 1954:Corporal sergeant under the French army against the Viet Minh
- 1964: Brigadier general in Royal Lao Army
- 1961-1973: With CIA assistance, led resistance against N. Vietnamese and Lao communist
- 1975: Left Laos to resettle in US
- 2011: Passed away
Vang Say Pao
Vue Pa Chay
Xiong Mi Chang
Shong Leng Xiong (Colonel)
Yang Dao (Ph.D.)
Yang Shong Lue
Shong Lue Yang was a popular messianic leader and teacher of a Hmong writing system in Laos. During the time that Shong Lue Yang was teaching in the 1960’s, there were over 300,000 Hmong in Laos.
Gradually, Yang chose Hmong and Khmu’ teachers to help him teach and he also built a school. As the news spread of his work, the Communist government heard about Shong and his teaching. They saw Shong as a threat because of his invention of a Hmong writing system, and were out to kill him. He was pursued first by the Vietnamese Communists, but is believed by some to have been killed by anti-Communist Hmong. He had been accused by both sides of assisting the other. Today, Shong Lue Yang’s Pahawh Script for the Hmong language continues to be taught in the Hmong community in California, Minnesota and elsewhere
(Most of the information for this bio was derived from Mother of Writing: the origin and development of a Hmong Messianic script by Smalley, W. A., Vang, C. K and Yang, G. Y. University of Chicago Press, 1990). The bio was composed by Ka Yang.
Shoua Yang (Colonel)
Yang Thao Tou (Colonel)
Yang Toua Lung
Yang Zong Cher
Dreams of the Hmong Kingdom by Dr. Mai Na Lee
Lee Lue (Xai Xiong, Ink Magazine 1997)
Notable Hmong People
- Ahney Her, actress, best known as Sue Lor in Gran Torino
- Bee Vang, actor, best known as Thao Vang Lor in Gran Torino
- Brenda Song, Disney Channel actress and teen star, known for The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and The Suite Life on Deck; “Song” is an anglicized spelling of “Xiong”
- Cy Thao, Minnesota State Representative
- Chai Vang, ex-National Guardsman, now a convicted multiple murderer
- Cherzong Vang, Hmong community leader educator, youth advocate, Minnesota Lao Veterans of America past President, and Hmong Veterans’ Naturalization Act of 2000 advocate
- Dia Cha, author, professor and anthropologist, St. Cloud State University, Minnesota
- Foung Hawj, pioneer Hmong-American broadcaster, media artist and Minnesota State Senator, elected in 2012
- Hang Sao, Hmong American activist, lieutenant colonel in the Royal Lao Army, advisor to the King of Laos in exile
- Houa Vue Moua, author and community activist
- Steve Ly, first Hmong mayor in America
- Ka Vang, writer
- Kao Kalia Yang, writer and author of The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir
- Kristy Yang, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge, Attorney, elected in 2017.
- Lormong Lo, former Omaha City Councilman
- Mai Neng Moua, writer
- Mee Moua, Minnesota State Senator
- Vang Pao, Royal Lao Army Major General, revered Hmong Leader, commander of CIA-supported Hmong forces during the Laotian Civil War
- Vang Pobzeb, Hmong scholar; PhD, human rights and international relations expert; Laotian and Hmong refugee advocate
- Xao “Jerry” Yang, 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion
- Zha Blong Xiong, first Asian American and Hmong American to serve on the Fresno City Council (2006)