Poi refers to both a style of performing art and the equipment used for engaging in poi performance. As a performance art, poi involves swinging tethered weights through a variety of rhythmical and geometric patterns. Poi artists may also sing or dance while swinging their poi. Poi can be made from various materials with different handles, weights, and effects (such as fire).
Poi originated with the Māori people of New Zealand, where it is still practiced today. Poi has also gained a following in many other countries. The expansion of poi culture has led to a significant evolution of the styles practiced, the tools used, and the definition of the word "poi."