The forming of various designs, of which there are many, was practiced for amusement as well as for improving dexterity of the fingers. Both children and adults play whai.
Competitions are sometimes held, with the aim being to complete a certain set of patterns in the fastest time possible.
The simpler forms of whai are the diamonds, with the 2 and the 4 of diamonds being the easiest.
In whai all the figures are given names and usually represent a story, an
object or star paths.
Some figures require more than one person to form them. The use of several people to form a complicated design is quite common.
A beginner should master one figure at a time. When some skill has been attained, forming the figures while singing a song is a good way to learn movement at a constant speed.