The Split Horn: The Life of A Hmong Shaman in America (educational)

  • Directed by: Taggart Seigel
  • Produced by: Taggart Seigel and Jim McSilver

Released: 2001
Running Time: 56 min

America has become the testing ground for the enduring strength of Hmong culture. THE SPLIT HORN documents the journey of Hmong shaman Paja Thao and his family from the mountains of Laos to the heartland of America: Appleton, Wisconsin. This poignant film shows a shaman's struggle to maintain his ancient traditions as his children embrace American culture. The evocative narrative captures the daily struggle of Paja Thao's family between two worlds.

"It would be difficult for another documentary to equal the scope of Taggart Siegel's film THE SPLIT HORN: Life of a Hmong shaman in America." — Justin Lowe, ASIAN WEEK

"THE SPLIT HORN is a remarkable achievement. An intimate exploration of family, place and culture, it tenderly reveals the complexities of assimilation in the United States.." — Chi-Hui Yang, SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL ASIAN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL

"Seventeen years in the making, THE SPLIT HORN is a heartfelt and deeply moving portrayal of a hmong shaman, his family, and his community in America." — George Lin, DC ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL


  • Award of Excellence, Society for Visual Anthropology Festival, 1988