Ngā Whāinga – Challenges – MAHI POI – Make your own poi

This school holidays, our Māori Services team bring you activities for tamariki.
Today: Ngā Whāinga – Challenges - MAHI POI - Make your own poi

Poi is a Māori word meaning - ball on a string. Traditionally the poi was very hard and heavy. The ball was made out of Raupō (Bull Rush) and attached to a Harakeke (New Zealand Flax) rope.

Originally, Māori warriors used poi as a form of exercise. The poi would help with wrist strength and flexibility. This was vital for the use of weaponry and hand-to-hand battle.

Over time, poi has evolved to a soft ball attached to a neatly plaited cord rope made of wool. It is used as an accompaniment for dance and performing in the medium of kapa haka (Māori performing arts).

The taura / rope cord of the Poi can be various lengths depending on what you are using it for. You can use one, two or even four long poi at the same time or one or two short poi. It is a graceful and beautiful art to watch.

Watch this video to learn:

Hei mahi – things to do:

  • Explore your home to find what other materials you can use to make poi
  • Make up your own poi actions to “Tīrama, tīrama ngā whetū” sung to ‘twinkle, twinkle little star’. Check out this video sung by Loopy Tunes for the words and music
  • Search YouTube and see if there are any simple poi drills.
  • Make up a cool sounding beat with your poi.

Some other useful links:

Māori Services

Ngā Whāinga – Challenges

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of Christchurch City Libraries