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Posted: Kia ora, the poi has a long and interesting history. Firstly I don’t want anyone to take offence with the supposition that there were people here before Maori – check our history yourselves … when Kupe arrived there were already people here! In many circles , mainly academic, this is accepted – if anyone is still upset please do some thorough research from your own pakiwaitara and other sources. The poi derives from the "ki" which the Moa Hunters used over 1500yrs ago to carry an individual moa egg (these eggs were quite large). They were made from flax. Two or more of these egg-carrying “bags” could be joined with long flax cords and slung about the neck. The next progression was to be used in the game known commonly today as ki-o-rahi, but every hapu that played had their own name for the game back then, in which the round flax egg-carrying bag was used in the same manner as a ball. To understand this phase it is helpful to keep in mind the Legend of Rahi. This game sustained peace amongst the tribes here for many centuries as the game was used to settle disputes instead of reverting to warfare. What eventually followed was a huge influx of warring Polynesians who arrived in a multitude of waka, in a relatively short period of time (probably less than a century), which tilted the balance back to using warfare to settle grievances in Aotearoa. The newly subjugated “ natives” were banned from playing their traditional peace sustaining game but they kept the symbol of their previous peaceful ways alive innocuously by shrinking the ki (which was remember the size of a moa egg) to about fist size with a shorter cord and integrated them into their dances. By swinging the cord around with the ki at the end they formed circles which represented the circular field upon which their sacred game ki-o-rahi was played… these were called poi. At the same time single ki were sometimes filled with a stone and a longer cord of 6mtrs attached and they were used to test the reactions, agility and swiftness of warriors - hence their use also in warrior training...these were called poi toa. From the mixing of peoples was formed the Maori culture which has dominated Aotearoa for over 1000yrs until the arrival of Europeans. Most of the so-called histories of poi conveniently leave out references to ancient poi evolution so that the Maori are seen to be the first settlers in New Zealand. Our culture is again undergoing huge upheaval – what could we be called now – perhaps “Kiwi” or “New Zealander”? E mihi ana ki nga tupuna Ratou I toro nga ara I te mata whenua I waihotia a ratou korero purakau Hei whakaaro mo nga whakatupuranga!
Posted: Sorry to be going a bit off topic but I just have a question for Manu Ruka. What does "Kia ora" mean? To me its a type of orange drink. I Remember the ads from when i was a kid. The one with the boy and his dog and he wouldn't share his kia ora with anybody else but the dog. Then all the other characters said that they would be his dog. Oh how I loved that ad. Really catchy tune as well.
[ 27 May 2002, 00:11: Message edited by: FirePoi-boy ]
Posted: thanks Axis any normal person would use the context of the rest of the message as an indicator to what something at the beginning of a sentence would mean? but i don't know if fireboy would want to be classed as normal? jeez and I thought we had a well-informed global community! fireboy just keep on jingling along but don't forget to take your medication.