History of POI design from New Zealand Maori Poi, Fire Poi and electronic Poi
Poi design has
changed much over the years.
Maori Poi were made from flax
blades, raupo, corn husks and core pith. Maori men used rocks (helping
to build those muscles). Shape of Poi originally didn't matter. It could
be ball or egg shaped. Cord length came as 82cm (long poi), 30cm (three-quarter),
25cm (short poi). Even now the shape does not matter.
These still consist of the Poi
head, cord and grip/handles.
Modern Maori Poi consists of
paper, foam, plastic, wool and strings.
Poi has also developed into
FIRE POI, Tailed/Ribbon Poi and Lighted Poi. Materials used for these
are aluminum, wood, stainless steel, brass, nylon, ripstop nylon, hi-impact
plastics, hi-tech man made fibers, KEVLAR ®, cotton, fluorescent chemicals and electronic
Weight is very important. A
lighter Poi suits a short cord and heavier Poi suit a longer cord. This
weight is necessary to overcome gravity on the upward swing. A light Poi
on a long cord may not swing properly at the top of its flight. Also if
you are performing outside a light Poi will we blown about and made very
hard to control. A very heavy Poi may be good in the wind, but it could
damage and strain your muscles, or even worse break the cord/chain and
fly off and hit your audience.