UWM alum Mai Huizel featured for work on Hmong traveling museum

By Ann Eberwein

From left to right, Mai Huizel – Founder & ED, Tracy Moua – Volunteer, and Chuayi Yang – Board, Sec., & Founding Member (Photo Credit: Hmong Museum).

The Hmong Museum in St. Paul, Minnesota identifies itself as a museum without walls and is the first and only museum dedicated to the preservation of Hmong culture. The museum was founded by Mai Huizel who received an M.S. in anthropology and a graduate certificate in museum studies from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. In 2011, Huizel gathered a group of young professionals interested in collecting Hmong stories and culture. Then in 2015, she created a board of directors and formed a non-profit organization to support the museum’s goals. The museum is virtual and event-based, meaning it curates Hmong stories and culture via a website and holds educational events in the St. Paul area. One popular monthly event is a three-hour Paj Ntaub workshop – Paj Ntaub translates to “flower cloth” and is a type of embroidery unique to the Hmong. The Hmong Museum also partners with the Minnesota Museum of Art to display traditional Hmong crafts and has curated live events such as “Dancing while Hmong.” For more information about the Hmong Museum and Huizel’s work see last month’s article in the Hmong Daily News: https://hmongdailynews.com/a-museum-without-walls-p478-95.htm and check out the museum’s website at: https://hmongmuseummn.org/ for more information.