Maribel Valencia Castillo

Maribel Valencia Castillo

Maribel Valencia Castillo was a student at Harvard Divinity School when she researched difficulties encountered by the Hmong community in Merced, California in maintaining their religious beliefs as a form of cultural preservation. The result was a report, "Hmong Shamans: A Journey to the Spirit World." Traditionally the Hmong embrace an Animist tradition, yet since their relocation in the United States they have found their religious beliefs under scrutiny from public officials and others. The goal of this research was to find how the Hmong have responded to the pressures of proselytism, how they have created ways to preserve their traditions, and most importantly, how their religious traditions have been changed in order to adapt to American culture. 






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Harvard Divinity School
Cambridge, MA

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