Forums > Social Discussion > Maori dislike of performance poi

Login/Join to Participate
Page: 1234
DarkFyre
DarkFyre

HoP mage and keeper of the fireballs
Location: Palmerston North
Member Since: 4th Nov 2005
Total posts: 1965
Posted:Ok i just thought that i would bring this up because i can.

Many (but not all) traditional Maori types seem to dislike our kind of poi and they seem to take it as offencive to there culture or something along those lines. There seems to be this ingrained view that if you are doing anything other than Kappa Haka with traditional precussion poi that you are somehow soiling their culture.

Just for one genuine example, i was on my way into town on Witangi day (NZ indipendance day if that helps non Kiwis understand it better) and i was spinning my poi as i went (when i passed sombody on the street i showed off a little bit) but when i passed this Maori woman she gave me a filthy look and with utter contempt in her voice said to her hubby loud enough for all to hear "look what they're doing with our poi" and i just couldn't understand wy she was so dissaproving of my spinning.

The flipside of this however is when they come up to you bold as brass and demand to spin because they are so much better at poi than you will ever be, they then proceed to hit themsleves in the head much to my amusement.

I've never understood this maori tendancy to say that anything they came up with is theirs and theirs alone so damn anybody that trys to addapt or improve upon it.

All this said and done the younger or less traditional Maori will either not care or be poi spinners that appreciate the growth that this artform has seen.


May my balls of fire set your balls on fire devil

Delete Topic

FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:try playing Didj in Arnhemland and have tits instead of testicles... I guess you'd take "filthy looks and utter contempt" over a smack in the face... wink

Nevermind the old folks, I had some nearly fainting when juggling crucifixes on St.Peter's square (butt naked) wink wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

Delete

ZeroG
ZeroG

Friendly Fire Fiddler
Location: Munich
Member Since: 21st Dec 2005
Total posts: 103
Posted:Maybe she loves poi but dislikes hippies in gunsnroses Tshirts ... or its the kind of amused estranged look Japanese tourists get from Bavarians on the Munich Oktoberfest when they start jodeling in Lederhosen ...

While I would always argue pro identity preservation, I would see it as sign of admiration to pick something up - especially if you raise the level which I think has been the case ...


Delete

Mr Majestik
Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear
Member Since: 9th Mar 2004
Total posts: 4693
Posted: Written by: FireTom


Nevermind the old folks, I had some nearly fainting when juggling crucifixes on St.Peter's square (butt naked) wink wink



ubblol really? are there photos of this!?!?!?!


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

Delete

Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:Last summer we had the toy shop set up in a marketplace at a music festival and one of the guys in our group was doing a poi demo. An older Maori woman walked right up to him, looked him straight in the eye and said.... "boys don't do poi".

Delete

gita
gita

.:*distracted by shiny things*:.
Location: brizvegas
Member Since: 13th Oct 2003
Total posts: 3776
Posted:ubblol stout i was just about to make a similar comment to firetom's post! traditionally, females are not to play the didgeridoo - i'm not surprised you were met with contempt & a slap! tongue but if you can actually play it - good on you! i don't think i could ever master the circular breathing technique!!

when i was first learning poi i lived with a kiwi chick (non maori) - she said to me one day that she learnt poi as a kid & proceeded to demonstrate a perfect one handed butterfly...dammit! ubblol


do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good to eat!

if at first you do succeed, try not to look too astonished!

smile! grin it confuses people!

Delete

Durbs
Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 5688
Posted: Written by: dizzypheonix


...they then proceed to hit themsleves in the head




Nah, they're meant to do that - it's percussive poi wink

Alot like I often mean to tangle up and swear lots.
It's dynamic smile


Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

Delete

_Clare_
_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast
Member Since: 22nd Oct 2002
Total posts: 5967
Posted:smile

I think it's quite sad that we haven't found a better way to bring together old and new traditions...

It feels a bit like we've taken something, changed it and not made enough of an effort to pay respect to it's heritage.

(or, I could just be overly-sentimental, again)

Didj and poi are two examples... perhaps djembe would be another...

Hmm... But what to do about it?


Getting to the other side smile

Delete

Valura
Valura

Mumma Hen
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Member Since: 25th Apr 2002
Total posts: 6391
Posted:"boys don't do poi".

You know what? According to Maori culture this is very very true... Boys DONT do poi, but Women dont do the taiaha and other forms of ceremony either.
We do both. (kind of)
Older Maori people will find that a bit confronting and will usually speak their minds, as Maori people are not one to keep quiet about their culture, but it doesnt mean they dont like it, they may just not be used to it.

This doesnt mean that all Maori people have a problem with it. Thats a bit of a generalization.
There are a very few that may be a bit upset that the poi isnt used in its cultural form as much as it used to be, but every single Maori person who has ever seen me spin has said how amazing it is and has asked to learn.... this includes the older whaia (auntie) that I met at Waitangi day here at the gold coast one year. She learnt very quickly and had a giggle that we were using two short poi, instead of two long poi. Most Maori people love to watch fire poi because they associate with it.. they feel it so to speak.

Yes we may do poi, and may have extended on the traditional poi, but that by no means says to every Maori person that sees this is upset by it. I just hope that people who do poi are understanding of where it came from originally and respect that, because it is a cultural thing.

I have learnt basic Maori, and I have belonged to Kapa Haka groups and love the culture. I also love how every Maori person I have come across is willing to have a go at 'our' form... just as I would hope that many poi spinners would have a go at tradtional poi (meenik is a GREAT ambassador for that)
hmmm I hope what I have said is understandable cause Im on a bit of a sugar rush from Easter...*giggles*


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"

Delete

FireByNite
FireByNite

Are you up for it??
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 8th Dec 2004
Total posts: 349
Posted:I have on occasion taken my poi toys along to tech with me.

I have also had heaps on people (maori and non-maori) come up to me to ask to have a go.

The more proficient ones are people who have learnt poi at a basic or advanced level somewhere along the line whether or not they are part maori or not.

Best one? this blond pakeha christian girl or picked up my poi, then proceeded to do one handed butterfly's weaves etc and then asked if I had another 2 for her to have a go with eg 4 at once eek

 Written by: Valura


Yes we may do poi, and may have extended on the traditional poi, but that by no means says to every Maori person that sees this is upset by it. I just hope that people who do poi are understanding of where it came from originally and respect that, because it is a cultural thing.




Totally agree with this comment, it is very cultural for them (maori) and alot of the elder people are still fighting to get what was their's back in the Waitangi Tribunal.

In that regard, it is not too much of a surprise that they take offence that the "white people are still taking from them" in some of their opinions

Coming along a guy doing poi I could quite imagine a look/comment of disgust from an older maori woman (as per Valura's comments)

I have never personally had to deal with comments/bad glances from Maori regarding poi, (thankfully) but I do look at it that I am glad that someone has changed the 'traditional poi" to 'performance poi with fire' biggrin at some point

On a side note, if you take a look at the polynesian festivals, there are quite a few guys who perform with fire staff, it's not just the Maori who practice arts like these


Are you up for it?
wink;)

Delete

BansheeCat
veteran
Location: lost
Member Since: 29th Jul 2005
Total posts: 1247
Posted:Hmn, wish Nick was around to comment on this thread. He had fantastic posative experiences with the Maori and the idea of fusion with modern forms and traditional... Look at his site,
www.playpoi.com, I think he posted a blog on it and some pictures...


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

Delete

hamamelis
hamamelis

nut.
Location: Bouncing off the walls.
Member Since: 5th Jan 2006
Total posts: 756
Posted:Incidently.. according to some random maori dude I met, poi was actually originally done by guys.. as a way to keep warriors wrists supple, but not as a display thing. The whole dance aspect was female, but if you go back far enough you can argue it either way..

THE MEEK WILL INHERIT THE EARTH!


If that's okay with you?

Delete

NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted: Written by: dizzypheonix





Many (but not all) traditional Maori types seem to dislike our kind of poi and they seem to take it as offencive to there culture or something along those lines.





I'd be very interested to hear more about the Maori point of view. Do you have any references for these opinions?



I've never felt comfortable calling it poi. I do, of course, I just never felt comfortable about it.


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

Delete

DarkFyre
DarkFyre

HoP mage and keeper of the fireballs
Location: Palmerston North
Member Since: 4th Nov 2005
Total posts: 1965
Posted:yup i heard that aswell from a couple of sources and apparently taiaha where used by woman folk to protect the village while the men where away hunting or fighting.

Anyhow I'm not saying that all maori are like that just the more close minded traditional types or the hard out land claims / foreshore and sea bed types, I personally dissagree with the whole situation since they sold the land for guns and supplies and a sale is a sale but thats just my oppinion especially since they took the land from the Maoriori (pre maori settelers) in the first place .

Many younger or more open minded Maori (regardless of age or cultural affiliation) appreciate the growth that the atrform has seen and have embraced it without forgeting it's roots.

Oh and by the way the lady with the filthy look couldn't have been much more than 35yo (an age where most are still reasonably open minded) hence my being unable to understand her contempt.


May my balls of fire set your balls on fire devil

Delete

FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Do I get it right, that Poi was exclusively a female thing?



Meaning that NO Maori warrior was using Poi as a weapon at any time?



If so - in the future - I will simply state: "I'm performing an european martial arts, with Maori influence."



Cause the Maori were not the one and only, who swung balls (i.e. from stone/ metal) on strings (i.e. chains)...



Some ppl are just looking for a way to dominate others and the "cultural" approach acts as an excuse.



I respect culture - and btw would never juggle x'es on St. Peter's square (butt naked) - but so far I didn't recognize Poi to have the same sacredness as the Didj - educate me.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

Delete

TheWibbler
old hand
Location: New Zealand
Member Since: 11th Apr 2003
Total posts: 920
Posted:Only read the first post but i've never had that from a maori. I think if that ever happend to me i'd point out that western poi bares far more resemblance to indian club spinning than percussive maori poi.

Also maori poi isn't done by boys, so as a boy i don't feel that i'm undermiming it at all.

However, i see why it may have been taken badly at witangi day, since that's like the holy day of poi spinning smile

And anyway, the chinese were probably doing it long before the maori, how olds meteor spinning? Probably predates poi by 1000 years...

I love kapa haka, learnt a haka at woodford festival, it's awesome.

matt


Spherculism ~:~ The Act of becoming Spherculish.

Delete

DarkFyre
DarkFyre

HoP mage and keeper of the fireballs
Location: Palmerston North
Member Since: 4th Nov 2005
Total posts: 1965
Posted:hey there tom you a right in the respect that in recent history Maori poi was exclusivly female however there are those who will tell you that males used them aswell to strengthen their wrists but since Maori have no writen history this is difficult to prove either way.

May my balls of fire set your balls on fire devil

Delete

FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:wellDizzyIgetyourpointandhavetoadmitthatmyknowledgeofMaoricultureiscrapleasttosay

Pleaseifyougetanyinfoorfirsthandinfoletusknow

Icertainlydoubtthatthiswas"justtostrengthentheirwrists"andthatMaorimisseoutonsuchaneffectiveweaponofcombat

btwexcusemethespacebarisbroken

thisorIgot confused

tongue wink ubblol


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

Delete

polarity
polarity

veteran
Location: on the wrong planet
Member Since: 16th May 2005
Total posts: 1228
Posted:Tom, if you're using XP, hit the Start Button, then 'Run' then type osk.exe in the box and hit OK to get the on screen keyboard.

You aren't thinking or really existing unless you're willing to risk even your own sanity in the judgment of your existence.

Green peppers, lime pickle and whole-grain mustard = best sandwich filling.

Delete

AlbertaBoy
AlbertaBoy

newbie
Location: Alberta
Member Since: 8th Jun 2005
Total posts: 7
Posted:I have no experience with the Maori people personally, but I have had friends go down to New Zealand. They have told me that the Maori people are barbarians. Very uncivilized people. If that is true, you can't expect them to have an open mind to anything really, so I guess naturally they would not be able to think logically about variations of their own poi, and other people participating in what they see as theirs.

Delete

TheBovrilMonkey
TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England
Member Since: 3rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 2629
Posted:Wow, your friends must have very different definitions of the words 'barbarian' and 'uncivilized' than I do.

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

Delete

_Clare_
_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast
Member Since: 22nd Oct 2002
Total posts: 5967
Posted: Written by: AlbertaBoy


I have no experience with the Maori people personally, but I have had friends go down to New Zealand. They have told me that the Maori people are barbarians. Very uncivilized people. If that is true, you can't expect them to have an open mind to anything really, so I guess naturally they would not be able to think logically about variations of their own poi, and other people participating in what they see as theirs.




eek eek

frown

I hope you're joking


Getting to the other side smile

Delete

FireByNite
FireByNite

Are you up for it??
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 8th Dec 2004
Total posts: 349
Posted: Written by: AlbertaBoy


I have no experience with the Maori people personally, but I have had friends go down to New Zealand. They have told me that the Maori people are barbarians. Very uncivilized people. If that is true, you can't expect them to have an open mind to anything really, so I guess naturally they would not be able to think logically about variations of their own poi, and other people participating in what they see as theirs.



Well whether not he is joking he full of censored mad


Are you up for it?
wink;)

Delete

alien_oddity
alien_oddity

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: in the trees
Member Since: 31st Dec 2004
Total posts: 7193
Posted: Written by: AlbertaBoy


I have no experience with the Maori people personally, but I have had friends go down to New Zealand. They have told me that the Maori people are barbarians. Very uncivilized people. If that is true, you can't expect them to have an open mind to anything really, so I guess naturally they would not be able to think logically about variations of their own poi, and other people participating in what they see as theirs.




i'm strugging to put something polite but it's hard not to tell you point blank you are talking out of your arse biggrin


Delete

Ade
Are we there yet?
Location: australia
Member Since: 14th Mar 2001
Total posts: 1897
Posted: Written by: AlbertaBoy


I have no experience with the Maori people personally, but I have had friends go down to New Zealand. They have told me that the Maori people are barbarians. Very uncivilized people. If that is true, you can't expect them to have an open mind to anything really, so I guess naturally they would not be able to think logically about variations of their own poi, and other people participating in what they see as theirs.



umm

woah, you owe HoP an apology mate. What you have written is insulting, ignorant, racist and offensive.

frown


Delete

Kathain_Bowen
Kathain_Bowen

Good Ol' Yarn For Hair
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Member Since: 24th Jan 2006
Total posts: 422
Posted:a.) On the pretty much racist comment about the Maori:
Even if you do not respect a culture, please take a good hard look at your own culture before saying anything. The so called "civilized" Western cultures can be just as barbaric as what they see to be "primitive" cultures. We've just found ways to commit all the same old crimes in the newest and most "advanced" of ways. However, no matter how you slice it and dice it, all cultures can be seen as barbaric and backward when seen from the wrong perspective.

b.) On Maori liking or disliking performance poi:
On the one hand, I can respect that fact that, yes, we are taking a part of their traditional practices and heritage, modernizing and taking away some of the passed down aspects. Western cultures have been very quick over the last twenty years especially to eat up unique and exotic cultures. Take a look at just how many religious elements which have been tattooed on people who have little to no knowledge of what they have permanently marked themselves with, nor any respect of that. Interior design has eaten up Eastern concepts of design. Western cultures do have an inherent curiosity and fascination about other cultures, but this often comes across as a commercialization and cheapening of the culture.

However, I, personally, couldn't give a damn what they think. I'm not hurting anyone by spinning. In fact, I'm doing the same thing they're doing; I'm dancing. When I'm spinning poi, I'm free and beautiful, just like they are, just like ballerinas and other dancers.

I know, I know, it sounds mean and like I don't care. But, I don't. I'm not forcing you to watch me. I'm not mocking your religion. I'm not taking scared temple practices and spitting upon them. I'm dancing, and I'm not forcing them to watch.


"So long and thanks for all the fish."

Delete

NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted: Written by: Kathain_Bowen


a.) On the pretty much racist comment about the Maori:
Even if you do not respect a culture, please take a good hard look at your own culture before saying anything. The so called "civilized" Western cultures can be just as barbaric as what they see to be "primitive" cultures. We've just found ways to commit all the same old crimes in the newest and most "advanced" of ways. However, no matter how you slice it and dice it, all cultures can be seen as barbaric and backward when seen from the wrong perspective.
...
However, I, personally, couldn't give a damn what they think.



Was your last sentence an example of "Western Culture's Barbaric Nature"?

ubblol

 Written by:


I'm not mocking your religion. I'm not taking scared temple practices and spitting upon them. I'm dancing, and I'm not forcing them to watch.




No, but you're calling it "poi" which is their word for their religious practices and their dance.

Look at how other religions get offended when aspects of their religion are bastardized or satirized. Do the Maori deserve the same respect? Or are we not giving them the same respect we would of a Christian, Jewish, or Muslim religious ceremony.

I'm sort of throwing that out as something to think about rather than something that I believe strongly about.

And for the record I do care whether or not the Maori are offended. I'm also going to recoginize that the Maori are individuals and probably don't all think or act exactly the same on this or any other topic.

I've actually heard some positive things when Cassandra and Dom went out there. I think. My memory isn't what it used to be.

Then again, I can easily see Cassandra and Dom getting respect wherever they might go because they are generally respectful people.


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

Delete

BansheeCat
veteran
Location: lost
Member Since: 29th Jul 2005
Total posts: 1247
Posted:guys, Alberta-boy is a troll, all his posts are designed to provoke, not contribute. Clue in and ignore...

"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

Delete

FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:almost confused

ubbidea thx clare

As to the respect of culture, find me disappointed that Maori are not approving... frown

Much like the Didj, Poi are stunningly simple, providing nearly infinate variations. I'm certain that many westerners got (more) interested in Maori and their culture, plus going to New Zealand to look for their roots, getting involved, due for that reason.

"Modern Day Didj" (to take it as a reference once more) has not much to do with the traditional one...

I didn't think "we" would diminish their reputation and disrespect their culture by what we are doing. So far I was even convinced of the opposite... shrug Sad to have to reconsider... frown


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

Delete

Ade
Are we there yet?
Location: australia
Member Since: 14th Mar 2001
Total posts: 1897
Posted:he may well be a troll, but I don't think it's ok to ignore and let the comments stand unchalleneged.

troll or not - he owes HoP and the Maori culture an apology


Delete

Mr Majestik
Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear
Member Since: 9th Mar 2004
Total posts: 4693
Posted:yes, although i find it unusual that his intro thread is fairly normal and his membership number is below yours banshee, it begs the question why someone would wait so long before being a troll doesnt it?

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

Delete

Page: 1234