• All Purchases made this month instantly go into the draw to win a USD $ 100.00 credit to your HoP account.
 

Kat
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Kat

Pooh-Bah
Location: London

Total posts: 2211
Posted:So I was at gathering on Saturday night at a talent show to raise money for Habitat for Humanity and I got to see *real* Poi in action by a cool NZ chick that lives in Akita. She is Maori and she performed a song and dance with short Poi - it was just amazing. She taught it to a group of us afterwards.She also got a group of men to volunteer to do the haka (shirtless), which was a scream!Anyone else have any interest in short Poi and the traditional Maori songs? We are always saying 'what music is good to dance to' and cite trance and drumming as good sources, but I wonder are any of you guys actually influenced by Maori culture?Just something I was thinking 'bout on this beautiful Monday morning
Non-Https Image Link
(sitting at a desk indoors by my computer
Non-Https Image Link
)------------------"London is a city coming down from its trip and there's going to be a lot of refugees" - Danny,Withnail & I


Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

Delete Topic

Posted:hey Kat!that sounds cool, but can you tell us how the 'traditional poi style' differs from the style commonly seen in vids on this site?Josh

Delete

Malcolm
SAPPHIRE Member since Nov 2003

Malcolm

HOP admin
Location: HOP

Total posts: 1002
Posted:Josh,What we do and describe on the site is long poi or in maori "poi waeroa" What Kat would have seen is "poi kokau" aka short poi where the poi ball "raupo poi" (made from bulrush plant) is swung and bounced off the body and caught in opposite hands. Which you can't really do with fire. Very much different to long poi.Did you know that the Maori in New Zealand did not use fire poi. They had light soft woven poi or "raupo poi" a "poi rakau" wooden batton swung as a poi and a rock poi use by some warriors to train in strength, agility and coordination. Poi can and has been used as a weapon and its movements can translate easily to other weapons used by the Maori.Short poi is very beautiful and defined. I have a book on the subject available in the online shop here.Regards
Non-Https Image Link
Malcolm


"May your balls always burn"

Delete

Kat
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Kat

Pooh-Bah
Location: London

Total posts: 2211
Posted:Thanks Malcom, you pretty much answered Josh's question.Short Poi - the poi are are either swung singularly or doubly. Short poi concentrate on creating rhythms and sounds. You hold the Poi by the knots. Then you swing them and catch them or bounce them off your body. They make really nice sounds and are accompanied by song. Long Poi are prolly more like what we are used to, and are used to create bigmovements and patterns. But as Malcom said - no fire is used! Poi originated as a Maori warrior training skill and apprently long ago only women of high rank knew how to dance with poi, so women from the lower classes invented short poi and created the short poi twirling for their own amusement. Many NZ men may tell you, 'Poi' is for girls, but it was a warrior skill first.Kat------------------"London is a city coming down from its trip and there's going to be a lot of refugees" - Danny,Withnail & I

Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

Delete

Posted:hmm very interesting...Malcolm, can you tell me a little more about the content of the Poi book you sell? your blurb in the shop isn't really enough for me to make a decision...I am really really interested in the history of poi..I dont suppose it has a contempory section about ppl using poi today?Josh

Delete

Peregrine


member
Location: Mystic, Ct. USA

Total posts: 428
Posted:yes traditional short poi is really quite beautiful to watch...saw a maori singing performance group once which had perhaps 10 women who all spun them in unison...very nifty. there was a very brief bit of the olympic opening ceremony where there were (presumably) maori women in the pacific group in the 5 color thing doing traditional poi. i have it on video but the part where you can see them is very brief.i have wondered what maori people think of people who aren't maori learning poi (or at least, spinning things on string and calling it poi since the moves are not necessarily unique to just this one thing), if they consider it some kind of cultural theft thing or if they are happy for it to spread around the planet, or if there is a general awareness of who is actually doing it, how important it is to them culturally etc etc etc....I didn't learn poi from anybody who was maori and the new zealanders of any variety i have met were before i picked it up so i never really talked to them about it. (we talked a lot about goat hunting in national parks as i recall)I have read/observed/heard that there seems to be more embracing of native culture in New Zealand than in say, america or australia, for instance the All Blacks do the Haka before their games and birds and animals (Kea, pukeko, tuatara) are referred to frequently by their maori name and not an anglicized version. so, anybody, enlighten me? whats the story on the ground in new zealand? can i happily call them poi or should i think of them as flaming balls of towel on a chain?
Non-Https Image Link
there is a weird line between being sensitive to other cultures and being overly and stupidly politically correct. its like choosing whether or not to climb uluru/ayres rock.dunno if that was totally incoherent or not
Non-Https Image Link
time for bed!Peregrine.................some say the world will end in firesome say in icefrom what I've tasted of desireI hold with those who favor fire...


Delete

Malcolm
SAPPHIRE Member since Nov 2003

Malcolm

HOP admin
Location: HOP

Total posts: 1002
Posted:Josh,For more on the book see here. No it does not say much about how it is evolving around the world.Peregrine,The title at the top of the page says home of "poi" (means ball on end of cord) "and fire twirling" (which I believe is different to poi, but has similar moves).To me "poi" is like "music" as both evolve and change over time. Some people believe that what is done today is not "poi" or hear is not "music".Traditional is great. But we can't ignore evolution (good or bad)Hope that makes sense
Non-Https Image Link
Malcolm


"May your balls always burn"

Delete

Kat
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Kat

Pooh-Bah
Location: London

Total posts: 2211
Posted:PeregrineThe Maori girl that was twirling Poi thought it was fanastic that I was doing poi and was very impressed by fire poi. She said however before she performed that she was worried people would think her poi was crap, overshadowed by the dangerous fire element. However, no way could I try to compete with how great she is at poi,and while the two styles were very different she seemed happy to embrace them both. We are planning to get together so she can try fire poi and I can practice short poi.As Malcom put so eloquently, we can't ignore evolution. It's great to appreciate and keep old traditions alive, but life is all about embracing change and fire poi or comet poi have as much right to be called poi as those handmade by a Maori.It's like Riverdance for me. It may not be *real* Irish dancing, but it looks amazing and has revived interest in Irish dancing which is cool. I am delira when people are keen to get up and dance.I think that Kaareen feels the same way about us doing poi.Kat

Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

Delete