Juggling balls are usually the first props that beginners attempt to juggle with, due to their simplicity (compared to other juggling props) and availability. Additionally, many common types of balls can function as juggling balls for a beginning juggler (such as tennis balls or baseballs). Most novice jugglers often spend much time learning how to control three balls before moving on to other juggling props. However, some jugglers prefer to stick with focusing on only one juggling prop in order to achieve “mastery” of one art.
For the more advanced juggler, juggling balls are often used to demonstrate basic patterns such as the cascade, fountain, shower and half-shower, and can be used to form more creative juggling patterns as well, such as patterns involving throws around the body, blind throws or catches, and throwing or catching with parts of the body other than the hands. Typically, more advanced jugglers will juggle between four and seven balls at once, though many advanced jugglers can juggle more than seven balls at once, partially because juggling balls can be manufactured in small sizes and light weights, and beanbags can be underfilled to facilitate ease of catching.
However, some juggling tricks, such as those typically done with clubs or rings that involve spinning or twirling the prop are not as effective with balls, since the perception of a juggling ball remains the same from whichever angle the ball is viewed. The use of juggling balls in passing is, for this reason, less popular than the use of clubs, since the spin of the clubs in the air is often one of the appeals of passing with juggling clubs (and also because a club is larger, and therefore easier to catch when thrown from a great height or distance).
In some Native American cultures, a dreamcatcher; Lakota: iháŋbla gmunka, Ojibwe: asabikeshiinh, the inanimate form of the word for “spider” or Ojibwe: bawaajige nagwaagan meaning “dream snare”) is a handmade object based on a willow hoop, on which is woven a loose net or web. The dreamcatcher is then decorated with sacred items such as feathers and beads.
he Ojibwe people have an ancient legend about the origin of the dreamcatcher. Storytellers speak of the Spider Woman, known as Asibikaashi; she took care of the children and the people on the land. Eventually, the Ojibwe Nation spread to the corners of North America and it became difficult for Asibikaashi to reach all the children. So the mothers and grandmothers would weave magical webs for the children, using willow hoops and sinew, or cordage made from plants. The dreamcatchers would filter out all bad dreams and only allow good thoughts to enter our mind. Once the sun rises, all bad dreams just disappear. American ethnographer Frances Densmore wrote:
Even infants were provided with protective charms. Examples of these are the “spiderwebs” hung on the hoop of a cradle board. These articles consisted of wooden hoops about 3½ inches in diameter filled with an imitation of a spider’s web made of fine yarn, usually dyed red. In old times this netting was made of nettle fiber. Two spider webs were usually hung on the hoop, and it was said that they “caught any harm that might be in the air as a spider’s web catches and holds whatever comes in contact with it.”
Traditionally, the Ojibwe construct dreamcatchers by tying sinew strands in a web around a small round or tear-shaped frame of willow (in a way roughly similar to their method for making snowshoe webbing). The resulting “dream-catcher”, hung above the bed, is used as a charm to protect sleeping people, usually children, from nightmares.
The Ojibwe believe that a dreamcatcher changes a person’s dreams. According to Konrad J. Kaweczynski, “Only good dreams would be allowed to filter through… Bad dreams would stay in the net, disappearing with the light of day.” Good dreams would pass through and slide down the feathers to the sleeper.
A hammock is a sling made of fabric, rope, or netting, suspended between two points, used for swinging, sleeping, or resting. A hammock normally consists of one or more cloth panels, or a woven network of twine or thin rope stretched with ropes between two firm anchor points such as trees or posts.
Hammocks were developed by native inhabitants of Central and South America for sleeping. Later, they were used aboard ships by sailors to enable comfort and maximize available space, and by explorers or soldiers travelling in wooded regions and eventually by parents in the 1920s for containing babies just learning to crawl. Today hammocks are popular around the world for relaxation; they are also used as a lightweight bed on camping trips. The hammock is often seen as symbol of summer, leisure, relaxation and simple, easy living.
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.”