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•Poi is a weight on the end of a flexible cord, which you swing in circular patterns around your body. Both poi the object, and how you move with that object, can take on many different forms and styles.
- •It is believed that poi originally came from the Māori of New Zealand. There is little information about poi prior to European arrival, but it is generally believed that poi was used by Māori men to train strength and flexibility, and by Māori women as a form of entertainment. The poi dance was also (and continues to be) accompanied by a poi song. Though chanting was always connected to poi dancing, Te Whiti and Tohu used it as a religious messenger, for it was an open and trusted medium for delivering historical accounts, religious sermons, and political speeches. Today poi has gained international popularity as part of the flow arts family, and is practiced in many different styles for recreation and artistic performance.
- •Today there is a myriad of poi props and poi styles. From Māori short poi to fire to LED, poi come in all shapes and sizes. Many styles exist for poi including traditional, flow, tech, contact and juggling.
- •While many people know from experience that poi is good for you, recent research suggests significant improvement in balance, grip strength, memory, and attention.