Milwaukee, WI — The disagreement between the two clans, Xiong and Vue, about which family would hold the proper funeral ceremony for the body of Panhia Vue, continued its way to the Hmong 18 Clan Council of Wisconsin. A community meeting was held by the Hmong 18 Clan Council of Wisconsin on July 27, 2013 in Green Bay, Wisconsin to find a solution to resolve the disagreement.
“Stated in the Hmong 18 Clan Council of Wisconsin article by law, in the case of killing a spouse in the Hmong community, the clan who committed the killing must pay $1200.00 to the clan of the deceased. Proper normal funeral service must also be completed by the clan who committed the killing,” said Tim Kong, President Secretary of the Hmong 18 Clan Council of Wisconsin.
Panhia Vue and Ying Xiong married in the Hmong tradition in March of 2012. Panhia Vue was killed on June 9, 2013 at her rented home in Altoona, Wisconsin. Her body was dragged into a shed at her backyard, and the upper part of her body was found burned.
Ying Xiong was arrested on June 13, 2013 and is now in custody awaiting a court decision on a murder charge of killing his wife, Panhia Vue, filed by the prosecutor.
Panhia Vue’s body was held at the coroner’s office for autopsy since June 11, 2013. Her body was to be released to the family on July 12, 2013, however, both the Xiong and Vue clans could not come to an agreement on who should hold Vue’s proper Hmong funeral ceremony. Due to the disagreement, both families did not respond to taking charge of Vue’s body. Her body was turned to the local women organization shelter in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where they will hold a quick funeral ceremony on August 1, 2013. They will then lay her body to rest and bury her in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Due to both clan’s unwillingness and disagreement on who should hold a proper Hmong funeral for Vue, Vue’s story sparked the interest of a Hmong women’s group in Wisconsin. They rallied peacefully inside the community meeting hall in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where they requested for a change to recognize and value the lives of Hmong women to be the same as the lives of Hmong men in all death/murder cases. “If Panhia Vue was a Hmong man, they would already take care of the Hmong funeral service with no questions and or hesitations, but because Panhia is a Hmong woman and Hmong women are not valued and are looked down upon by Hmong men in the Hmong community…” said Mao Khang, Advisory Council to the Hmong 18 Clan Council of Wisconsin.
After more than two hours of hearing concerns and suggestions from the members of the Hmong community and the members of the Vue immediate family, a one hour recess by the Hmong 18 Clan Council of Wisconsin was needed to make a decision. “Chong Vang Xiong, Chief for the Xiong Clan to the Hmong 18 Clan Council of Wisconsin, is in charge to pay $1200.00 to the Vue immediate family no later than August 10, 2013. Chong Vang Xiong is also in charge of the soul release ceremony by providing a cow and other necessary items that may be needed. As for the request made by the Hmong women’s group, “we will resume to make a decision on their request when all of the 18 Chief Clan Representatives get together again,” said Wa Meng Yang, President of the Hmong 18 Clan Council of Wisconsin.
Less than half of the Chiefs in the Hmong 18 Clan Council of Wisconsin attended the community meeting. Motions were made by the Chief Clans who were in attendance to proceed with the meeting and in the decision making for the case of Panhia Vue. “If you cannot represent your title and your position for your clan at the Hmong 18 Clan Council of Wisconsin, please step down and resign. Let those that they have the ability to lead, take the position” said an anonymous member of the Hmong community who was in attendance during the community meeting.
Click here to watch Suab Hmong News exclusive covered the candle vigil ceremony and the killing of Panhia Vue.