Forums > Social Chat > Fire staff history anyone?

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PsyriSILVER Member
1,576 posts
Location: Berkshire, UK

I need help for my art work, I need to research the history of Fire Staff, its been easier for Poi and I've checked into some martial arts... just need some help...

A Meerkat that eats chicken
194 posts
Location: Cambridge UK

I remember reading somewhere that one of the places it derived from was the polynesian fire dancers not sure on that one?
Also have you looked at BO staff which is a martial art that came from the stick that they put across their shoulders to carry water with.
dont know if thats any help tryed looking at this before but couldn't find much.

KajiQuantum Theorist
564 posts
Location: Vansterdam

The June 1997 (vol. 191, NO. 6) National Geographic. Cover Story French Polynesia has a little bit on TahitianTorch Twirling. Staffs probably have some origins with that art.

In the 60's people took acid to make the world weird, now the world is weird and they take prozac to make it normal again.

PsyriSILVER Member
1,576 posts
Location: Berkshire, UK

Well I'm also looking into the art that may have inspired it... I need to do some practical work... as in not spinning cos it'll be counted as performing art. I can submit videos too... I'm looking at Maori art aswell... need some more inspiration...
I had the idea that I could use some pretty twirling photos to merge Maori patterns into... might be cool, but I will also look at several other things.

CharlesBRONZE Member
Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
3,989 posts
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

that's perhaps more of an academic approach than what others ahvetaken in the past.

Some main lines that it might pay to look into is...

Martial arts by region

Pacific pole fighting styles

The history of baton twirling in the states (lots of resources!)

Circus history with Devil Sticks, staffs, fire Juggling Clubs and other manipulation skills.

They all intersect at some points, but it mya bea easier to treat them (and others) as sepearate areas of research

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138 posts
Location: Aotearoa

"Polynesian society developed out of migration and cultural exchanges that took place over a long period of time before European contact. Tongan dances such as the mauluulu and the taualuga were thought to have originated in Samoa. The fire dance, which has been adopted by Samoans and Hawaiians, has it roots in Uvea. "

By Lemi Ponifasio, choreographer and Director of MAU Dance Company

(Aggie Grey's)

"Aggie Grey(s)" has imo the best traditional fire performance. Maybee u could e-mail someone there for infomation as the net info is just not legit enough. And the traditions vary from island to island and even between tribes.

Its all just smoke and mirrors

DurbsBRONZE Member
Classically British
5,688 posts
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England

I always thought C@ntus invented it...

I was actually wondering the same thing - when I tell people what I do (poi) they always ask where it comes from, which I'm vaguley clued up on.
However, talking about staffs there doesn't seem to be a definate answer.

Mostly I guess it's such a generic item that it's been used in almost every culture - alot of dance forms are derived from fighting/battle preparations, and a big stick is a pretty basic weapon so I guess there was never just one culture that thought "Hey, lets take this stick and jump around with it for a while - it'll keep me healthy and look damn scaring to ol' Johnny Foreigner who stole my goat last week"

As to setting it on fire - I doubt you'd ever get an answer.

*chink chink* my tuppence

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