Remedy:  Jingle Bells

Anonymous stated, “Jingle Bells is an english term for a Hmong ritual.  It is a cultural fact that if someone is sick it is because their spirit had left their body and wandered it off.  In order to call your spirit back, you must call a Shaman to your house to perform Jingle Bells.”  This Hmong ritual involved “a spiritual doctor to heal individuals and they perform the ritual with two bells in their hands, hence the name jingle bells, jumping up and down to enter the spiritual realm to see what is wrong with the individual and how to heal them.”  Anonymous “[has] never personally experienced jingle bells, but [has] watched the ritual being performed on other family members with severe sickness who could not be treated by medical doctors.” 

This Hmong remedy to fight off sickness is a unique cultural ritual.  It relays the Hmong folk group’s emphasis on spiritual health.  As shamans are also commonly found in Hmong communities, it is evident this ritual is done frequently.  Spiritual beliefs and remedies are fascinating to explore because they are not usually done in American folk groups.  Natural remedies usually include drinking or eating something warm or creating natural medicine, but this remedy relies purely on spirit and action.  In some Hmong cultures, Anonymous included that those that are in desperate need of help may “sacrifice farm animals to the spirits” in order to gain back their own spiritual health.  This may relate to a topic touched on in the Forms of Folklore class lectures where individuals held the belief that they would obtain certain powers from eating certain animals, yet in this case, individuals gain their spiritual capabilities from animals.  This ritual reiterates the special connection between spiritual, human, and animal folk groups, uniting them as one.