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Forums > Social Chat > History of Firetwirling, poi and stafff...and yes I have done a search :)

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Katinca


Katinca

See my vest.... see my vest...
Location: Adelaide - South Australia

Total posts: 693
Posted:Hey people,

Now before you go sending me off to the archives of HOP, I have already been there..

But unfortunetly I didn't find much, is that because people don't know much about it? Or I am doing something wrong here?

Pele can you help me out? You have a large knowledge of the fire arts....

Would like to know ASAP, as I need to put it in some teaching notes, that Josh and I are giving to some students tomorrow.

Thanks everyone...

Kate


Love and Light

~*~ Katinca ~*~

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:My understanding is that it wasn't really documented and so alot is not known about the evolution of poi. You could touch on the fire meteors of the ancient oriental cultures in ritual use (the bowls of fuel lit on fire, centripital(sp??) force kept it from flying everywhere, which had deep spiritual meaning). These seem to parallel poi in many ways and is similar in concept.
Obviously you will want to credit the Maori Rhythm Poi, however who first thought to light them on fire, who learned and spread it globally is a mystery, which is interesting in and of itself for students. In the search I did though I have really found no evidence of fire poi back before the 1960's.

As for staff, it's basis is very engrained in the Polynesian cultures, having been used in worship dance (some even to the goddess Pele) and in ceremonies for hundreds of years. It was thought a way to appease gods, to coax the elements and to really bring about a spiritual awareness. When tourism to the Polynesian Islands became very prevelant in the mid-20th century, fire staves (in many Polynesian countries known as fire knives and have a boxed shaped wicked heads, one of which is larger than the other) became popularized as a form of entertainment, just as hula dancing was and such. Of course this is the *much* abbreviated version. Oh, and traditionally, it is the art of the men, symbolizing strength and power.

I hope this helps at least a small bit!
Good luck with your class!


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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Katinca


Katinca

See my vest.... see my vest...
Location: Adelaide - South Australia

Total posts: 693
Posted:Thanks Pele you ROCK here's my 5 stars for you
*****

I just need a little intro, so thanks a million.



Love and Light

~*~ Katinca ~*~

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SilverEyes


member
Location: Dallas, TX, USA

Total posts: 45
Posted:Here's another little tidbit I was sent about fire in ancient cultures: in Gaelic, the word "dealan-d" refers to "the phenomenon observed by swirling a stick lighted at the end. Apparently the meaning is 'God's fire'". I think this would be applicable to both single staff and double short staffs. Happy FireDay!

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Aww shucks Katinca, t'weren't nuthin' ma'am!

However, SilverEyes (everytime I read your name I think of Riddik in the movie Pitch Black! )
My understanding and research says that the "God's Fire" actually refers more to a torch where only one end is lit, and not both ends. Holding it at the end and then swishing it through the air in an almost dance where when you look at it the line of light seems to linger in ones vision, that is what "dealen-de" (I can't get the accent to work!) refers to. This is very much one of the basis for evolution in torch swinging though, and a very rich history it is!

[ 20 April 2002, 09:54: Message edited by: Pele ]


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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PK_
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

PK_

Lambretta Fanatic


Total posts: 4993
Posted:Pele is far to clever for my liking hehe but she sure knows her stuff.
yeah that riddik guy's eye's are freaky!!


PK.

"To be an angel, one need not have wings.
In giving love there is an equal grace.
Nor need one seek the aura in the face,
As love unveils the beauty of all things."

*Francois Couperin.

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