A student in the high school journalism program Three Sixty wrote this story about a preteen in line to become a shaman, or a 'soul doctor'. According to the story, there are about 1,000 shamans in Minnesota.
The author explains the details of becoming a shaman. She provides information about how important shamans are in the Hmong community.
This story moved beyond a stereotypical portrayal of Hmong culture, providing a substantive and detailed picture of a seldom-discussed topic. It explained the history of shamans. For example, thousands of years ago when the Laotian people didn't have doctors, shamans were the healers.
The author also explained many of the rituals that shamans perform. For example, a shaman puts a cloth over his face before going into the spiritual world. Also, shamans traditionally perform animal sacrifices when someone's soul is lost.
The reporter talked to a representative of the Hmong Cultural Center and a preteen shaman for this story. The shaman in training provided anecdotal information that made the story feel even more real.