Poi, aka Fire-Spinning

The last post, supposedly covering all of June, would actually have been much longer had I really included all of June in there. The reason why? Poi.

Poi is of Maori origin. You can read more about it by clicking here or googling a bit. I remember my Kiwi friend Kalinka practising poi outside our flats in Dunedin, New Zealand and I thought it was pretty cool, but I didn’t realise at the time how popular it is around the world.

On June 25th, I drove Lisa to our oldest brother Dan‘s house by the forest a few minutes from our place, and along with a few of Dan’s friends we walked (I limped) to the school park across the street. I can’t remember everyone’s names so I’ll just say Dan and friends to make it easy. Dan and friends, plus Lisa, soaked their poi in fuel and took turns spinning fire. Very limited captions below, since most captions would simply read “Wow!” Some of them look like dragons flying around and stuff.

This is a neat trick where they spin the poi around along the ground, creating a ring of fire for a second or so, which didn’t seem to leave any marks on the grass at all since the fuel burned off so quickly.

Dan framing himself like an old-time portrait, without realizing it:

Note the teeshirt Lisa’s wearing says Fury on the back. My uncle John’s old band was called Fury in the 70s and they wore these sometimes when they played. Interestingly, the first band of Rivers Cuomo from Weezer was also called Fury, years after my uncle’s band had formed (and I think had already disbanded even). An Australian metal band called Fury formed in 1993.

Lisa wasn’t the only one to light herself on fire, but I had to take a photo of her singed hair. Once she cleaned it out you couldn’t tell anything had happened.

Dan and two of his friends then decided to spin all at the same time for a bit before leaving:

Dan lying on his back with his legs folded behind him so he could come back up to a kneeling position and stand up again:

One of Dan’s friends (she’s actually quite thin, in case anyone who knows her is reading this – the long exposure caused her movement to make her look bigger than she is). I think she looks like she caught the Phoenix and is holding it by its talons.

And that’s what fire poi looks like.

6 Comments

  1. Sarina July 23, 2008 at 02:21 #

    That’s SOOOO cool, I saw fire poi for the first time here at Montmartre on the weekends there are often groups of people showing off their skills. I’d probably burn down the forest if I tried…

  2. fon July 24, 2008 at 16:14 #

    It’s a super fun hobby! I picked it up in Bilbao and it’s now an endless source of entertainment for my little nephews and nieces here in Bangkok!

  3. Sara July 25, 2008 at 06:17 #

    Pretty pictures of fire… ahah i like

  4. Josephine August 2, 2008 at 08:24 #

    These pictures are AWESOME. Nice work. Looking forward to seeing lisa’s moves when I get back.

  5. Bowinn August 19, 2008 at 22:48 #

    awesome.

  6. CarinLive August 12, 2009 at 03:46 #

    Great pics., you seem like a nice lot, too bad your swedish assembling name didn't mean that you lived in my area, could have need som fire ppl around me now when I'm about to begin my adventoures (learned poi in Belfast, but havn't found anyone here yet….still looking) **Carin

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