Thursday, April 30, 2009

Poi juggling, or spinning, is a worldwide fashion that originates with the Maori of New Zealand

Originally uploaded by parishpics
Poi is a form of juggling or object manipulation employing a ball suspended from a length of flexible material, says Wikipedia, held in hand and swung in circular patterns, said to resemble club-twirling. Poi spinning originated with the Māori people of New Zealand (poi means "ball" in Māori) as a means to develop flexibility, strength and coordination - particularly dexterity of the wrist - and as an exercise of movements central to the use of hand weapons, including the patu, mere, and kotiate, a violin-shaped club.

In Maori culture, the discipline of poi evolved into a traditional performance art practiced primarily by women. The art includes storytelling and singing choreographed to poi routines, and developed in conjunction with others disciplines - such as waiata a ringa, haka, and titi torea - included in kapa haka performances.[citation needed] Contemporary poi has built upon the Māori discipline, combining spinning arts from around the world.

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