Poi is traditionally from New Zealand. It is believed to have roots over 2000 years ago as a Maori martial art used for preparing the mind/body for hunting animals.
The tradition of poi spinning has been passed down through the generations and still continues today. Poi is taught in schools up to the age of 12 years as it is believed to be a superb stimulant for the brain, helping with any learning difficulties.
Poi is also used extensively in traditional dance where it forms an intrinsic part of the woman's performance in a tribal love story - showing the female spirit and the cyclic nature of universal rhythms. The Maori Wahine females hit their bodies with the poi to make music as a team of dancers or spinners. Poi dance is often a story about the history of the Maori tribe. This in itself is a beautiful way to learn the history of the Maori.
The poi dance was originally used by the Maori woman for keeping their hands flexible for weaving. Maori men use poi for the strength and co-ordination required during hunting and battle. Poi is also used as a training aid for other ancient weapons.
Poi is traditionally handmade individually from the flax plant. There are different lengths and this creates different poi sounds.
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