By Kyle Petersen

Although the history of poi goes back hundreds of years, little is known about the development of the art form. Some say it first developed as a weapon. Others say it evolved out of games played by the indigenous Maori people of New Zealand. Still others say it originated as an ancient performance art.

Poi has come a long way since it’s Polynesian origins. Fire and LED poi are extremely popular, especially in the dance and electronic music scenes. The movements have evolved too, combining elements of break dance, martial arts, and object isolation.

Here is an example of a traditional Maori poi and dance routine. Notice the short cords used and the emphasis on music and choreography.

Below is a clip of Zan, a friend of the store, demonstrating some modern fire poi and kite poi manipulation.

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