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Posted:recently i was in newcastle australia selling poi in a mall the name of which ican't remmeber...i had a small sign saying 'poi for sale'...it was a long day... alot of interest (know body had actually seen them before) but no sales. toward the end of the day after many people shyly looking out of the corner of there eye and what not...i spied a Maori woman approaching and thinking we may have a pleasant exchange of words and some poipoi (when poi are in motion)i was alittle take aback when her face formed an angery glare while she walked past.....on returning to new zealand i rung a good Maori friend of mine and explained the situation...she wasn't surprised. i meet at teachers college a couple of years ago...for part of our course we had to teach something to the class and i choose poi of course...she asked me why i was calling them poi...i shrugged and said because thats what other people call them and 'well they kind of look like Maori poi'...she didn't say to much and i forgot all about it.....so this time i ask for a clearer 'Maori' take on this modern 'poi'..first she said her son has some 'comet poi'..when he first got them Maori friends visiting would ask what they were not seeing them as poi...she had two main points as to why she and many other Maori don't see what we are doing is poi and this is what she said1 they are not poi! traditional poi are made of natural firbers and don't have tails/glow or are on fire.2 using the word 'poi' (as we all know, has alot of appeal to our western ears, theres a certain mystical/unkown quailty i.e. sexiness about it/marketablity) to sell products for material gain is a little insulting to Maori culture/people.it is for these reasons Maori in new zealand and aussie or where ever you maybe may caste a look of distain your direction if you call your toys poi.i also must say that this 'take' is from a Maori woman who is active within her iwi (tribe) and who is activitly seeking to re-establish Maori culture as having equal worth as any other...she is not an urban Maori (cut off for what ever reason from tradition Maori culture) who appears ethnically as Maori and faces the same discrimination as my friend who is 'Maori'So for me i have a problem...insult my friend and Maori people or find another name for our toys...some of you greedy fuckers may think i'll be still calling them poi but i think not cheers Dan

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Cantus
SILVER Member since Jul 2001

Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road, United Kingdom

Total posts: 15965
Posted:Is there a reason why you think calling us names is going to make us want to help you?------------------C@ntus

"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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Frenzie
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

member
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 515
Posted:That last line really does bring the intelligence level of the arguement down quite some bit.

- Industrial design knows of no article more useful than the milk crate -

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Excuse me?"Greedy Fuckers" ???????First of all I am going to agree with Cantus that this is an insult. Secondly, I would venture to say that most, at very least many, have never heard of these called anything else, and those from regions which are not NZ or Aus prolly don't know much about the Maori or traditional poi.Lastly I want to say that in the book "THe Rhythm and Life of Poi" written by Maori Ngamoni Huata the actual word "poi" means ball, then from that there are derrivitives. So then, using their own terms what we have is flaming poi.I understand there is a rich culture behind the Maori and use of poi. Do you think they would also be offended by the fact that Hawaiians have a food called Poi, which is not related to what they do at all?I never claimed my incarnation of the art is from the Maori. If they are insulted by it then I am sorry that they can not see the artistic expression in what we do. What we do is also similar to Bolas, which are used commonly by gaucho's, and yet I have yet to hear them complain about the acrylic incarnation.Mayhaps you should suggest to your friends that instead of sticking their noses up at something they should educate themselves as much as we should about their culture.And for the record, I have been acquainted with Maori in the past and they are not offended by the glowstick or fire incarnations.Your statement was interesting and very understandable.Your closing was far too aggressive and insulting to be overlooked. Especially the term greedy.....maybe you could explain to us how tripping across this site, learning something fascinating and calling it what we are taught to call it is greedy, for I do not understand your reasoning. ------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...http://www.pyromorph.com

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Cantus
SILVER Member since Jul 2001

Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road, United Kingdom

Total posts: 15965
Posted:I'm glad it wasn't just me who was offended!------------------C@ntus

"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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flash fire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

flash fire

Sporadically Prodigal
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2758
Posted:this guy is just a troll - this is the second time he's used the term Greedy Fuckers... I'd say he was looking for a bite and found a couple.Has some valid points re: the bastardisation of their culture though. many cultures have these feelings towards our diversification - abrorigines with the didge etc. I was going to wear some hindu spots across my brow at a party on the weekend until a friend informed me that Hindus get very offended at this as these markings act as sacred symbolism.Ignore the trolling. Things like that can be deleted without hesitation if they are not reacted to in the first instance.

HoP Posting Guidelines
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Posted:I took it as a joke.remmeber how uch trouble he got in last time he called the American Poi websites "Greed Fuckers"? I think he was making reference to that in an attempt at humour. I actually did take it as such - although I dont think it was neccessary.I have no statement concerning the Maori take on western poi.Josh

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:I really have a problem with direct insults and have voiced my opinion before. Dan, I'd appreciate it if you would refrain from insulting anyone or anything with such force. You bring up a good point about commercialism vs. respect for tradition, unfortunatly your offensive delivery makes it impossible for me to respond.Several of us have made friends on this site and would like to keep this site friendly.Thank you.

Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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Posted:i would suggest the limited amount offence you are experincing at the present inregards to my 'greedy fuckers' is an attempt to enable you to feel the offence you caste on a culture of people with it appears at present so little regard...an example of the lack of consideration and respect for different ways of life and culture is begin played out internationally to the shock of some...it would appear from your comments that although you see a problem you will only make a note of it...and who again were the innocence civilains... dan

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Cantus
SILVER Member since Jul 2001

Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road, United Kingdom

Total posts: 15965
Posted:I don't even do poi. ------------------C@ntus

"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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Posted:eh - my good nature got the better of me again.I retract my excuses for Dans behaviour.Josh

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Poi positions. I suggest you get off your high horse and open your mind a bit (a lot). Some Maoris think this site is great. Check out harks comments: http://www.homeofpoi.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/001113.html[This
message has been edited by Stone (edited 18 October 2001).]


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Frenzie
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

member
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 515
Posted:*feels hypocritical bullshit vibes coming from a certain poster*Do adopt these views in your every day life? Or just confine them to when u think you are right?

- Industrial design knows of no article more useful than the milk crate -

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DaRk aBeR


member
Location: Fallbrook, CA , USA

Total posts: 19
Posted:"greedy fuckers..."Who was it who was selling poi for material wealth anyway, your the greedy one!

JM HŮisarangheyo@netzero.net

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Maelstrom


Maelstrom

member
Location: Akron, Ohio

Total posts: 135
Posted:I agree with the last statment. As far as I know none of us are at the mall trying to sell "poi" to everyone and anyone. Matter of fact most people make their own tools. Maybe thats why the person looked at you with such disgust. By the way who is Dan? It's sounds to me like your piss-off with nothing to be pissed-off about, relax, your changing your own argument to hide the foolish of your first statment.
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Nothing good ever comes from hanging out with normal people.

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Cassandra


Cassandra

Froggie ... Ribbit !!!
Location: Back in Paris... for now !

Total posts: 4224
Posted:There is a difference between tradition and folklore.Folklore is like freezing things at a certain stage and not letting it developp. No space for creativity.It is what is delivered to tourists when they visit some place and pay for a "traditional typical show". For what little I know and the people I met while doing my masters in Anthropology, noone who seriously loves his culture will ever support this. Except if they have commercial interests. Those who do have a sterile and stubborn attitude will makes no justice to the beauty of a culture. It is rather about "fighting against everything" for the sake of it. And it is fighting against wrong opponents too. Folklore also more sadly appears once a culure has allready been destroyed, trying to keep tracks and memories of a vanished culture. it is the case for quite a few tribes in Africa, Asia, where even some languages have disappeared (we have these cases even in France) and noone remembers it , only those who have access to archives, tapes. That is sad but I don't think Maori culture is at that stage AT ALL.Tradition and culture on the other hand is a dynamic and beautiful thing. It is about being aware of the richness and specificities of a culture. It is a need and desire to keep things alive and developping. In order to developp you do need fresh air and exchanges with others. This is how the romans adapted the greek cultures, the japanese adapted the chines cultures etc... If others show interest , it makes no sense to push them away. It makes more sense to take time and teach them... I don't think the fact that people do poi is offensive to Maori in itself allthough some individuals might be insulting. But then again, it is about individuals. Making generalization like you did about "us" without knowing is racism...Also, I don't think it is offensive that I practice aikido for Japanese. they sometimes find it funny cause they prefer base ball or golf. they sometimes just think I dont get "it" cause I am a gaijin, but they actually tolerate it and don't feel threatened, except maybe extremists. Extremists are a "culture" of their own and I am simply no interested in this " minority". As for the "look of disdain", it is sometimes simple protection. When a culture has been hurt , stolen from and mistreated for such a long time. it is not really surprising that there is some sense of animosity in the reactions they have towards the outside world, but this is why it requires patience and good will on both sides. to broaden the subject, you could also say that putting religious object of rituals in a museum is an insult. because it means you are showing things outside of the very frame where they are meant to be. They become "meaningless"... But do they really ? They are also a tool of education for "others" to get to understand a culture. When some exhibitions are organized with the necessary intelligence and sensitivity, they are very precious IMHO.so you are right, they are maybe not poi in the traditional meaning of it , but they are of the same family. So what happens when foreigners make a new art out of a traditinal ritual ? Does it mean people are spitting on the origins ? Words are powerfull indeed and carry a lot of meaning, but fighting over words only is often just about being politically correct which is very shallow. It is always strange when someone tries to learn about another culture. We all make mistakes because we are not familiar with it, like a kitten trying to walk with plastic shoes on. I will never *be* a maori, or a japanese or I don't know what. But I will not give up on trying to learn more and open up because people like you insult me instead of explaining. I don't know if you have kids , but I sure hope that when they make a mistake cause they don't know you don't call them all sorts of ugly names. It takes intelligence to explain complicated concepts in simple words and even more intelligence to explain touchy things in peacefull words.Cassandra

"I want brown bread... no, that is diesel oil..."
"So I was raised in Europe, where History comes from ..."
"NON !!! La Plume de mon oncle n est pas Bingibangibungi !!!"

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Fire Princess


member
Location: London/Brighton, UK

Total posts: 130
Posted:Get over yourself, Dan.You are being ridiculous. If nobody ever used words to mean things that were similar in other countries/cultures, none of us would be speaking at all.Waitaminute! You've been typing in the Queen's English (well, of sorts)! I hope you know then, that these English words should belong to the English people - how dare you use them! And, even worse, how dare you foreigners adapt MY words for your own usage! Give them back immediately...Oh, hang on, I can't use them either because many of them are Latin derived and should only be spoken by true Romans...Any native Latin speakers out there? Didn't think so...Princess

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audax
BRONZE Member since Sep 2001

audax

freelance bum
Location: Upstairs, Australia

Total posts: 286
Posted:Does every one know what Mitsubishi Pajero translates to in Portugese? Find out, it's funny. Does everyone know that kangaroo meens "I don't understand what ou are asking" from when a british colonial asked what that animal was, in English of course. And that Kylie meens boomerang. Ironic the number of English I've met called Kylie.Cultural misunderstandings in naming conventions are not rare let alone unique. You can find some that are a lot more insulting than the naming of poi.How many of you call Ayer's Rock, Uluru these days. That's it's name, and it's insulting to the oldest continuous culture on earth to use the white mans name for it, but the change hasn't taken on. Y? Apathy. Lack of awareness. But what can you do. In an ideal world these culture clashes would be solved by public support, but that would require...universal social conscience..I'd like to see that. Defeatist I know, but I try to do my bit.There are much more worthwhile things to get wound up about, like the worst humanitarian disaster on earth is being addressed by... air strikes!?

UYI wink OLDSKOOL

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:OK, I was wrong and flash was right. I'm a big enough man to admit it. Josh and I tried the high road which was noble but naive.Dan is clearly adept at providing enough of a logical and inteligent arguement to provoke interest and then smack you with his other hand. The hypocracy within his first post shows through upon second read and makes apparent his intentions.I encourage my friends on here not to play his game. This is the second time he has done this exact same thing.Dan, I have politely and respectfully asked for you to post with less inappropriate language and twice you have responded with further inappropriate language. It is hypocritical to ask for the respect of a culture when one can not respect one individual. Again, I am attempting to treat you with respect, though am clearly disappointed as to how you have treated me. Your responses to this and posts in the future will dictate how others will view you as well.

Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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Thistle


Thistle

old hand
Location: Nottingham UK

Total posts: 950
Posted:This is classic attention seeking behavoir & by posting replys we are, unfortunately, giving Dan exactly what he wants. IMHO I don't think Dan wants a serious discussion he just wants to antagonise ppl. For what reason, I don't know. Hey Dan! Care to elaborate on why you feel compelled to upset all the lovely ppl on this board?Onelove, Thistlefirepixie

Are we nearly there yet?

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Cassandra


Cassandra

Froggie ... Ribbit !!!
Location: Back in Paris... for now !

Total posts: 4224
Posted:Thistle, NYC, Frenzie... you are right... I thought about this post for along time today before I posted my response. It is a subject that means a lot to me ,I've been an active member of some organizations that deal with "oppressed" cultures. And I really wanted to make a point, think about all this and it was really hell to do it in anotehr language too. then I step back and realize I wasted some of my energy... on someone who's not worth it... Cassandra

"I want brown bread... no, that is diesel oil..."
"So I was raised in Europe, where History comes from ..."
"NON !!! La Plume de mon oncle n est pas Bingibangibungi !!!"

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TheBovrilMonkey
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England

Total posts: 2629
Posted:Since people have tried asking nicely, the tactic I'm going to try is to call poi positions a muppet, then ignore him.So,Poi Positions, you are a muppet.feel free to bask in the knowledge that you have one less person reading any future posts.------------------King of all things Walrus

But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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Thistle


Thistle

old hand
Location: Nottingham UK

Total posts: 950
Posted:I'm with the Monkey.Onelove, Thistelfirepixie
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Are we nearly there yet?

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Shadowblade


member
Location: Essex England

Total posts: 57
Posted:humm Dan i happen to be treated with distaste by a large number of people co's i am a goth.do you think that i give a damm what people think about me...? NO i dont.so if you do enjoy poi and your not just doing it to draw attention to yourself because your just a bland boring person in real life then i suggest that you dont give a DAMM what other people think and just have fun. And as for being a gready fucker.........well i suggest you go get a spoon so you can eat my ass.Suck it in Dan co's i get the felling you haven't made a lot of friends with this post

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catboy


member
Location: leicester, england

Total posts: 167
Posted:the more i read of those posts the more i felt like just insulting him back... now i got to the end, seems a few of you have beaten me too it... bugger.dan... ...
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you can take the cat out of the jungle, but you cant take the jungle out of the cat

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melissa
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

member
Location: madagascar, USA

Total posts: 156
Posted:ok, for the momment i am going to take the previous discussion into consideration, but i'm going to put it aside and focus on the intitial question regarding the name poi. right now i am on the big island of hawaii. it's certainly not new zealand but where i am at now is definatly rich in polynesian culture. when i go and spin my practice poi in public i usually encounter at least one person who is curious and asks me what i am doing. usually i say that i am spinning poi and then clarify what the origins of the word is because lots of people here think of poi as food. i tend to say something along the lines of this: "the poi dance that i am doing has an interesting history to it. the name is based off of the maori dance that uses balls called "poi" that are attatched to the end of string and spun around as a means of exercise. this orginal dance style has inspired many people and it has evolved over the years to become an odd fusion of these types of movements/exercise and is combined with fire or glowstick dancing. the end result of this hybred dance form pretty much looks like what i am doing" basically i try to aknowledge its origin but make the distinction that this is a different style of dance that what the maori do but it has a common element. i have had some pretty intersting reactions here, when i was at a local hula festival recently i saw many of the hula troups using the maori style poi balls. i talk to some of the little kids here (they seemed the most open and talkative) that do hula and we compared moves and talked. pretty much they just thought it was kind of funny that a white girl like me knew how to do poi moves and used such weird looking practice poi (they look like squid/jellyfish.) many people here recognise the poi movements that i do as being of polynesian origin (rather than having glowsticks or fire association) but thus far i have not had any negative reactions to using the term poi or doing poi dancing. as far as reactions go it may have alot to do with how you present yourself, whether you are selling them and the type of attitude you have when interacting with other people. part of it may also come down to the age of the people you interact with and the background/experiences that may they have had with with white folks taking a part of their culture and selling it. personally i am still going to refer to my dance items as a poi/poi like inspired creation but make the distinction that what i am using is not specifically maori poi.

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Posted:so i'll not use any words that may offend the many of you that have been offended.now could we talk about the original post.some Maori poeple take offence to us (thats people who spin all forms of modern "poi" as was discussed in a former post because we are calling them 'poi') because we are commercialising their culture.the modern design of their traditional poi in their eyes aren't poi...not only do they look different but the use of them is different also...traditionally poi were and still is used collectivitly by preforming groups usually of more than ten (key word collective)...as apposed to ourselfs using them largly as individuals and individually. our cultures have different views of the world and hence different values...so where as we may think developing traditional cultures for our personal satisfaction and desire can only be good for all concerned, people of those cultures may not share this view and take great offence to it.in new zealand, people 'have each other on' share a little joke...i have notice though meeting internationals in new zealand that many are insulted as you have been by some of my language. for those of you who have visited new zealand you may have noticed the brashness of our humour (of course i'm not specking for every git in the country). just as when you meet an american generally they are the loudest(of course i'm not speaking about ever american), but you get used to it. i am turely sorry for the offence some of you have taken toward my choice of language. every culture and group of people have a stlye of presenting themselves which you may or may not approve of. i have tired to create debate on this for the culture of 'poi' swingers. as some people within the culture that birthed this sport/art, are offended by our lack of respect, do we owe some respect of their wishes.i hope you are able to show some respect to those people who don't share your world view and have enabled us to enjoy this sport/art we now have chers dan

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vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas, USA

Total posts: 3899
Posted:I can see why some people who originally claim the culture might distain the use others make of it. But at the same time, they should be proud that something of their roots has such an effect on the world as a whole.Take the native Americans. They got overrun with a bunch of Europeans too. While many would argue their culture and race has been wiped out, I would say that it has found a wider audience. If you bother to look, America has been greatly influenced by the native American cultures - in our names, our folklore, even our laws. And beyond that, the world has been affected by it. For example, how many of you eat corn, play basketball or lacrosse, or smoke weed? And while one might say they have all but dissapeared, it is actually pretty hard to find an American that has been here more than a couple generations that doesn't have an American Indian ancestor somewhere in his or her past. Cultures are about ideas. Ideas can't live if they don't change, or other ideas that do change will make them obsolete. Some resent this, others recognize the neccesity of it.[This message has been edited by vanize (edited 19 October 2001).]

-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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Firefairy


member
Location: UK

Total posts: 115
Posted:Basically, its all a matter of opinion. It doesnt matter where you come from, its all up to the individual. I spent some time in NZ and met loads of Maori's, some loved what i was doing and some would tell me about the tradition's behind 'poi'. As afr as I am concerned, an adaption of a tradition doesnt take away from the actual tradition itself aslong as that tradition is continued also. 'u can please some people sometimes but u cant please all the people all the time' BOB

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