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Forums > Social Chat > Fire staff history anyone?

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Location: Berkshire, UK
Member Since: 2nd Apr 2003
Total posts: 1576
Posted: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
Location: Cambridge UK
Member Since: 27th May 2002
Total posts: 194
Posted: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.


Quantum Theorist
Location: Vansterdam
Member Since: 12th Dec 2002
Total posts: 564
Posted: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.


Location: Berkshire, UK
Member Since: 2nd Apr 2003
Total posts: 1576
Posted: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.


Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted: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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Location: Aotearoa
Member Since: 8th Apr 2003
Total posts: 138
Posted:"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


Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 5687
Posted: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

Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude