Poi spinning came from New Zealand. The Poi was first used by the Maori women.
The following two quotes are from Home of Poi-a company based in New Zealand that started back in 1998. They have dedicated themselves to teaching and spreading the word of Poi along with making a successful business. Their site is a nice place to visit over and over.
The Poi chant was a graceful, fluid dance involving the rhythmic manipulation and gentle tapping of the poi, a fibre ball attached to a plaited cord.
Poi also means;
‘Poi’ is a Hawaiian food made from the taro plant
‘Poi’ is an acronym for GPS Points of Interest
‘POI’ is a Tamil feature film about lies (2006), directed by K. Balachander.
‘POI’ is a Software from Apache
‘Poi’ is a jewish expression of disgust
‘Poi’ is Sour pineapple pudding
‘Poi’ is fresh squeezed coconut juice
‘Poi’ also means ‘husband’ in Nepali!
Here is a video of original footage of Maori men and women. The women spun the poi, the men danced and used the patu.
Moana Maniapoto tells the story of her families past and present. She opens up her world to us with all it’s rich heritage. Coming from a long line of Maori chiefs, she introduces us to family members and show pictures of those that have past.