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monty
member
Location: nz
Member Since: 26th Jan 2003
Total posts: 18
Posted:New here, intrigued by ya'all comments and antics yes i know you've probably been over this ground heaps but even tho checked your history site out can't find any mention of poi toa, just the mainstreamed stuff that sells well! (the pretty little poi with the pretty little wahine fluffing it!) I've used the poi toa for years, they are popular where I live and originate from a very old game called ki-o-rahi, so come on lets here your ideas about the correct kiwi origination because I'm a little bit amused it doesn't seem to get a mention and ofcourse other independant world originating! Come on you history buffs one more time aye!?

[ 26. January 2003, 23:27: Message edited by: monty ]



PK_
PK_

Lambretta Fanatic

Member Since: 20th Dec 2001
Total posts: 4991
Posted:my personal view:

history is history and meant to stay in the past, yes its very usful to have to know the history of poi.
but were here and now and creating history in our time and taking the origional poi to greater levels by diferent means, we dont normally use the board to discuss the history, however it does crop up from time to time. i am pretty sure that there is not many if at all any traditional spinners that frequent the board, it would be good if they did, but i find we all here share the same passions for the modern day spinning, doing our modern day variations of the traditional maori poi moves and taking them to further more extremeties.
lets carry on creating history, were all apart of it here and its all thanks to malcolm for suplying this medium for us to do it in.
be kewl.


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.


Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Actually, it has been mentioned, several times, and it does come up in a search for threads about poi history. We've had Maori participants in conversations, things referenced from the Rhythm of Life book about poi (available in the shop).
What we do has origins that are global and not strict to the Maori culture, which is important for you to realize as well.


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


Magickal_Kaleidoscope
member
Location: Newcastle, Australia
Member Since: 28th Dec 2002
Total posts: 119
Posted:i went to another site the other day which said that fire poi also came from china, where they were used by the chinese nobles.


Valura
Valura

Mumma Hen
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Member Since: 25th Apr 2002
Total posts: 6391
Posted:Te Hei Maori Ora....
Kiaora.
Ko Kristy Taku Ingoa. Ko Hinerangi te wharenui, ko Nagti Kahanunu te iwi. Ko Ruamahunga te awa.
Kiaora, kiaora, kiaora, katou katoa.

I acknowledge the importance of our culture my friend. I preform both. Fire and traditional waiata-a-ringa as well as poi.

[ 28. January 2003, 10:29: Message edited by: Valura ]


TAJ "boat mummy." VALURA "yes sweetie you went on a boat, was daddy there with you?" TAJ "no, but monkey on boat" VALURA "well then sweetie, Daddy WAS there with you"


Dom
Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK
Member Since: 19th Dec 2001
Total posts: 3009
Posted:As Pele says, the Moari connection does get quite a bit of a mention. The shop doesn't sell Maori poi as they probably wouldn't sell well, and they're pretty simple - paper wrapped up in a plastic bag with a plaited wool string.

Although poi has been a part of Maori culture for centuries no one single person or culture can be credited with the idea of spinning things around. Give somebody a set of keys on a chain and they'll spin them around. Give somebody a stick on they'll spin it round. You'll find people who say poi originated in lots of countries: NZ, Hawaii, Thailand, China (meteors), etc... Really it doesn't matter, what matters is it's fun!

My perspective is that 'poi' and fire spinning as we know it today has at least 3 combined origins.

Moari poi seems to be pretty much stuck, held fast by the fact that 'traditional' Moari culture as it's now taught and practicised is frozen in time. From what I hear doesn't really change or evolve anymore. By following history and staying loyal to it, as you seem to suggest, the Moari's have stagnated creativity wise. Sure, there is still some expressed, but it's constrained within the limits of tradition. When I've spun in front of Moari they've been impressed. In 1 minute of spinning I stunned someone who had just stunned me with 4 poi, because we each had a completely different basis for our spinning.

So, if we all did it the Moari way they'd only be a few moves and it'd be a lot more about dance and group co-ordination. And it'd be mainly the women spinning, not the men.

Now, the modern poi style I spin has a lot of moves borrowed from club swinging - which was used as a fitness exercise in Victorian times. Lots of men in tight white gym clothes spinning wooden clubs and from there developed as a juggling art. So, you could attribute modern poi to club swinging as much as Moari poi.

A lot of moves are also thought up by people playing with ideas and creating more funky moves. This is why there's so often people posting here describing a 'new' move they've just thought up, only to have people reply that it's old news to them. All creative spinners have similar tools and so mostly progress in similar patterns of move development, but completely independently. Be they glowstickers, fire spinners, flaggers, whatever, the physics are all pretty similar.

So monty, welcome to the site and I'm looking forward to reading your contributions on this site as there are so few kiwis on it! Also if you're in NZ and fancy visitors then myself and Cassandra are wandering through these lands and we'd love to meet more poi people, espically anyone who knows about Moari poi styles. Send me a private message if so. Ta!



[ 27. January 2003, 15:13: Message edited by: Dom ]



Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Hi monty, interesting thoughts.
quote:..so come on lets here your ideas about the correct kiwi origination because I'm a little bit amused it doesn't seem to get a mention and of course other independant world originating! Come on you history buffs one more time aye!To be honest monty, I don't know the correct maori origins, or even what poi toa is for that matter. However, I would be extremely interested to hear your views. I live in Australia where staff has been the favourite, and poi are called fire-chains. So, I was ignorant for many years to the relationship b/t fire-chains and poi. We just called them fire-chains.

As far as independant origins goes. I'm sure many cultures developed similar systems. It's just basic body movements with tools (read weapons). I'll leave most of that to the martial arts experts.

My personal history is in Indian clubs. I find it amusing that 98.9% of the moves (sans wraps) I see at HOP are clubs moves done with poi. Historically, club performance goes back to the Greek and Romans, and clubs were used in the ancient Olympics.

They developed as a tool for physical eduaction and gymnastics. There were off-shoots into weight training with dumb-bells, bar-bells, poles, wands, batton and stuff. Dumb-bells, are an interesting example. They originated when people took the clacker out of bells, and started swinging them around to get extra weight for training. When they put a pole b/t two bells they got a bar-bell

I think part of the reason I have remained ignorant to the correct maori origins, is partly because because when maori poi has been discussed here, there has always been an element of secrecy attached to it. Rightly enough, people don't want to be seen as giving away their cultural heritage.

Well there are a few of my ideas, great topic. And as a result I will read "The Rhythm and Life of Poi" tonight.

Cheers


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


monty
member
Location: nz
Member Since: 26th Jan 2003
Total posts: 18
Posted:Fantastic replies people, Kia ora Kristy and to Stone,Dom, PK, Blackstar & Pele I'm blown away by the international fervour of poi! I have learnt so much in such a short space of time! I appreciate the international independant origins of poi and also take the point of disregarding this facet, however many sports you can appreciate carry intrinsically the culture in which they were developed and this can reflect the values of such a civilisation, culture or society.

Take for instance the assumption that the poi did not develop in Aotearoa (NZ) it did, from its beginnings as a Ki (pronounced as "key"), which itself evolved from the moa-egg carrying kete. The ki,(used in the game ki-o-rahi) became the poi toa and then the various types of dance poi. In those days paper and plastic as such were not around so they were never "simple" constructs but were made from cleverly woven raupo, kaniko or harakeke (flax)or such combinations of them and even embroided with feathers or animal skins.

That is wHat I find amusing - the assumption that those fluffy poi used in action dances are the be all and end all of poi...that book Rhythm and Life of Poi is a very rudimentary writing and focuses narrowly on the mainstreamed concepts and on only a few iwi (tribes), however I tautoko the effort of the writer. It is really only a collection of relatively recent and modern day poi information and not a very "deep" effort at (Maori) poi history.

Just thought I'd let you know, there is a deep history to poi in NZ that has been skimmed over.

Now which of these fire poi should I start with?

[ 27. January 2003, 23:15: Message edited by: monty ]



monty
member
Location: nz
Member Since: 26th Jan 2003
Total posts: 18
Posted:Hi team just wanted to explain what poi toa is (thanks for the e-mails) , I am a Maori from NZ. We have used poi toa commonly in my area. It is a form of poi. It is about 20ft long. It consists of a rope attached at the end by the poi part, usually a well wrapped rock! We try and hit a stationary opponent who is about 5-6 paces away and keep jerking the poi back and firing away again as quickly as possible to test the reactions and flexibility of our opponent and then after awhile we swap around.This form of poi, poi toa, originates from the game we treasure called ki-o-rahi. This game is played with a flax woven ball, called a ki, it is this ki ball that was attached to a flax rope and swung around in ki-o-rahi after-match functions (called hakari)to celebrate the importance of the game as the swinging ki ball imitated the circular shape of the field that ki-o-rahi is played on. There is a German site which has a 'poi history' which is the best and most authoritive, and accurate, true account of poi origins that I have come across - those Germans are just so efficient! Try www.flow-motions.net/poihistory.html. You must remember that when the British sailors first arrived here they much preferred the provocative poi twirlings of women to the physical exertions of the male poi toa users. Hence the popular misconceptions surrounding poi beginnings.This type of change also took place in Tahiti, whereby the British sailors persuaded the Tahitian women to do the hula when infact it was originally a male warrior dance! Hope you appreciate my dialogue, and love your site,any feedback on poi history will be read with interest regards Monty Wilson


Rozi
100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 11th Jan 2002
Total posts: 2996
Posted:Hey Monty, I have questions rather than info to add. A good mate was talking about percussion poi, apparently something more traditionally maori. What is it and is he right?

Also, is it true that poi is taught in schools in NZ?


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...


monty
member
Location: nz
Member Since: 26th Jan 2003
Total posts: 18
Posted:Hi Rozi I dont know about percussion as such and i aint no Maori poi authority either but doesn't that just go to show the variety of poi around?

Poi is most definitely taught in some schools who have maori performing groups who do Kapa Haka (action songs - Maori dance), now that ki-o-rahi is gaining popularity again the poi toa is also becoming more popular.

Whats a good beginners firepoi Rozi?



Rozi
100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 11th Jan 2002
Total posts: 2996
Posted:A good beginners firepoi is an unlit one !!!

Funny but true. Whatever you start with get used to the weight of it unlit. Spin it a lot to see if you can get all your moves without hitting yourself too much.

And go for single wicks that aren't too massive. burning without spinning is an excellent way for you to see how high they burn, cos even though they burn smaller in motion, as a beginner there will be times when you stop to think about what you are doing.


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...


Valura
Valura

Mumma Hen
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Member Since: 25th Apr 2002
Total posts: 6391
Posted:I was taught Poi in school Rozi.... it was fantastic...I belonged to a Kapahaka group and my maori culture lessons used to consist of us dancing around the room preforming. Beautiful. Also most of the boys were taught Taiaha (sp?? Monty?) which is pretty much staff... I loved maori culture lessons...

TAJ "boat mummy." VALURA "yes sweetie you went on a boat, was daddy there with you?" TAJ "no, but monkey on boat" VALURA "well then sweetie, Daddy WAS there with you"


Soleil
member
Location: UK
Member Since: 24th Nov 2002
Total posts: 41
Posted:for all the non-german speakers, the info from "flow motions" is as follows :

"The Poi-Dance has a long and interesting development story. The actual origin of this dance lies in New Zealand. Centuries ago there the Ureinwohner (the Maoris) used a construction in order to transport large Moa-eggs.

This construction named itself „Ki“ and consisted of two lines bags, that were tied to the respective end of a long volume. This volume was put around the nape in order to carry these heavy eggs. Now sometimes were filled „Ki’s“ with stones and were secured to a cord long up to 6 meters.

With this then was hurled and swung in order to train flexibility, coordination, reaction capacity and speed. This training was named „Poi-Toa“.

The next stepp was under development that hence a game emerged, the „Ki-o-rahi“.


Instead of leading wars, namely with this differences of opinion and dispute were expedited. This balance was destroyed then in a relatively short time period by a large influx of combat-ready immigrants. So it came was prohibited now it again to getting and combat and the domestic then „“, its traditional peace gifts games nachzugehen. Yet they held the resistance to this extent uprightly when that they shortened the volumes the „Ki“ and integrated the swinging as a symbol of its friedensvollen way into its traditional dances.

And so this will become yet danced as a symbol of the peace also today. At the same time circles and forms become before, behind, next to and over the body swung, is possible everywhere.

(argh i am crap at german!!)

sol xx

(p.s. i'm feeling productive tonite!!)


HEEEEEEEEED!!


Jade Lynx
member
Location: Laguna Beach, but i live in De...
Member Since: 19th May 2002
Total posts: 239
Posted:Yay!
Danke schoen, Soleil, i sprechen about 6 words of Deutsche, none of which involve poi...
Thanks for the translation.


We got the MikeZ in the house, woot!Glue the ham, hat baby!


monty
member
Location: nz
Member Since: 26th Jan 2003
Total posts: 18
Posted:Yeah Valura taiaha is fantastic, is this some linguistic discussion or can anyone join in? Maori, English and German any others???


Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Hey monty, thanks for the explanation of poi toa and the game of ki-o-rahi much appreciated. I can well believe the story about the British sailors. The feminine connection with poi is discussed here from time to time. It's a good point too, because I suppose I had this idea that maori men don’t do poi, which as you point out they do. More history to appreciate.

"Now which of these fire poi should I start with?" That's a "personal choice" question. You could do a search and see what other people recommend. Personally, I like ball chain, so I'd recommend a pair of tube core 2.5 inch fire poi

Soleil, thanks for translating the info on the German site.

Cheers


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


monty
member
Location: nz
Member Since: 26th Jan 2003
Total posts: 18
Posted:thanks Stone time to get a ball chain 2.5 and hybrid some poi toa / firepoi moves! I'll let you know how it goes. If you are cruising around NZ remember any marae will make you feel welcome and the locals can show you how our (unflamed) poi work and you could reciprocate with your expertise, excellent way to meet people, huh? Rotorua is the obviuos place to start here as it is full of kapahaka groups who use poi. I also extend thanks to Soleil for great attempt at German translation!


Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13919
Posted:I just figure it this way.

There is "traditional" poi and several genres of "modern" poi (you might, for example, consider "rave," "new-age," etc.). They are different, but related arts. Much as there are different genres of music or painting or sculpture there are different genres of poi.

The fact that a painting is neo-cubist rather than realist doesn't make it any less of a painting. The fact that my poi style is modern rather than traditional doesn't make it any less poi.

That's my $0.02.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura


monty
member
Location: nz
Member Since: 26th Jan 2003
Total posts: 18
Posted:I agree MGL and thanks for making that point, I just find historical aspects of poi intriguing (I'm 'touched'yes, but only by curiosity!)and no doubt in 100yrs or so the fireppoi in use today will seem just as interesting historically too!But MGL you seem to be starting alist here so lets carry it on? Ki, poi toa, poi, rave, new age...others?


Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13919
Posted:I'm reluctant to do that because there's so much overlap. People have different styles, and it's like when people start trying to sub-classify trance music (epic, anthem, dream, tech, tribal, ibiza, progressive, etc. etc. etc. until each and every track has its own distinct classification).

A friend of mine describes herself as an "earthy" spinner and describes me as a "glam" spinner. Not sure how happy I am about that. I do find that a lot of ravers tend to stick more to the weave series while the new-age/earthy folks tend to like butterfly moves more.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura


monty
member
Location: nz
Member Since: 26th Jan 2003
Total posts: 18
Posted:Whoa, I C your reasoning, maybe a dictionary of poi should be produced huh? Shall we start it anyway??


monty
member
Location: nz
Member Since: 26th Jan 2003
Total posts: 18
Posted:Any suggestions for what we should call it when a firepoi breaks up during its operation? Is there such a term?


Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:I like this thread so I am bumping it.

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


Rozi
100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 11th Jan 2002
Total posts: 2996
Posted:smile Wow!!! Blast from the past!! It is funny seeing things you posted to years ago.

I am currently sharing a house with another Aussie and a New Zealander. Every now and then my NZ housemate borrows my firestaff and shows me some proper maori moves.


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...


Valura
Valura

Mumma Hen
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Member Since: 25th Apr 2002
Total posts: 6391
Posted:Written by: Rozi

smile Wow!!! Blast from the past!! It is funny seeing things you posted to years ago.
I am currently sharing a house with another Aussie and a New Zealander. Every now and then my NZ housemate borrows my firestaff and shows me some proper maori moves.



with staff? confused confused confused

are they using it like a taiaha?


Non-Https Image Link



Non-Https Image Link


Also is your housemate male?


TAJ "boat mummy." VALURA "yes sweetie you went on a boat, was daddy there with you?" TAJ "no, but monkey on boat" VALURA "well then sweetie, Daddy WAS there with you"


Valura
Valura

Mumma Hen
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Member Since: 25th Apr 2002
Total posts: 6391
Posted:*bumps for rozi*

Im really interested! biggrin


TAJ "boat mummy." VALURA "yes sweetie you went on a boat, was daddy there with you?" TAJ "no, but monkey on boat" VALURA "well then sweetie, Daddy WAS there with you"


Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:I'm interested in knowing too Valura!

I liked the sharing of info in this one, and you are so right Rozi...in my head my old posts sound so not like me! lol


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


Valura
Valura

Mumma Hen
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Member Since: 25th Apr 2002
Total posts: 6391
Posted:*bumps, wiggles ,ROZIIIII* ubblol ubblol

TAJ "boat mummy." VALURA "yes sweetie you went on a boat, was daddy there with you?" TAJ "no, but monkey on boat" VALURA "well then sweetie, Daddy WAS there with you"