The concept of cultural spatiality includes all aspects of human agency, experiences and outside influences. As such, it encompasses socio-culturally enacted localities, whether these are real, imagined or only potential spheres of social, economic, religious, symbolic, or political action. As in the case of the Hmong in northern Thailand, people can be anchored via processes of place making in local settlements, in a diaspora spread over five continents or in the "Otherworld" of the supernatural agents. The concept of the Hmong Mountains signifies the "place" the Hmong people have constituted to maintain their socio-cultural distinctiveness despite statelessness. It is a mental model of the Hmong lifeworld which has evolved during the course of a long history of migration, dispersal and settlement in Thailand.
Maren Tomforde has researched on the Hmong in Thailand and is a Research Fellow at the Bundeswehr Institute of Social Sciences (SOWI).