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USC Off the Beaten Path: The Search for Spirituality

Fire Poi

Finding a spiritual connection to the elemental, with help from a traditional Maori art
By Jessica Roberts, Chantal Allan, Amy Tenowich, June 18, 2007

Visually compelling, fire poi is an art form based on traditional Maori practices using a weighted ball attached to a string and twirled around the body.

Today, fans of the art — from the Burning Man festival to local parks — are learning the discipline of spinning chains and flammable wicks dipped in fuel.

Listen: Audio story by Chantal Allan

Image: Fire Poi Slideshow
Photo slideshow of fire dancers from the Los Angeles Fire Conclave

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The News21 fellows at USC report on the search for spirituality on paths that intersect with business, science, culture and even sports. Check out "Fellowship of the Rings" and "Fire Poi" for a look at how sport can lead to spirituality. Our tour of spiritual sites in California, a "Magical Mystery Tour" of the state will show you the places to visit off the beaten path. Interested in the cutting edge in treating war vets returning from Iraq? See the story on the military using mindfulness techniques.

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