The Hawaiian Bone Fish Hook Necklace

The Meaning of the Hawaiian Bone Fish Hook Necklace

Hawaiian Bone Fish Hook NecklaceThe meaning behind the Hawaiian bone fish hook necklace came from the deep connection and reverence the Hawaiians had for the ocean.  The ocean surrounding them was their source of food and their means of travel. A bone fish hook represents strength, prosperity, abundance, and a great respect for the sea. Today, fish hooks (‘Makau’ in Hawaiian) perpetuate the Hawaiian way of life through contemporary jewelry.  Ancient Hawaiians believed that a bone necklace takes on part of the spirit of those who wear it. The necklace becomes a sacred link between people, spanning time and distance. In this way, it becomes a spiritual link and should be handed down. A carving that has been worn by family members over many generations contains the spirit of all those people and is truly a great and powerful heirloom.

Who wears the ‘Lucky’ Hawaiian Bone Fish Hook Necklace?

Hawaiian tradition says that fish hooks provide good luck when fishing and safe journey when traveling. Given the relationship that Hawaiians have with the ocean, these fish hook necklaces can be found hanging around the necks of Hawaii’s very best anglers, captains and mates. The Makau, the Hawaiian bone fish hook, symbolizes the strength and determination of these fishermen. Additionally, a fish hook is often worn by travelers for safe journey. What a unique lucky charm gift for anglers or non-anglers of any gender.


The Specifics of the Hawaiian Bone Fish Hook Necklace

Hawaiian Bone Fish Hook NecklaceEach fish hook is meticulously hand-crafted in the traditional “Hawaiian-style”.  kkPacific’s “lima Hana” (hand carved) hooks are from the bone of the water buffalo, also known as the carabao. The bone we use is from the femur or large upper thigh bone, which is very dense with little marrow and cartilage. This makes for a better bone substance for carving and results in a higher quality product. The edges are smoothly rounded and the entire piece has a highly polished luster and feels good to the touch. The high density of the bone gives it the ability to hold such high gloss polish. Over time, your bone pendant will “pick up” sebum, your body’s natural oil. This will result in the pendant slowly taking on a slight soft honey golden hue. The more color it develops the more highly it is treasured. The bone carving acquires the essence, or “mana”, of its owner. After a while your hook will reflect your body’s distinctive signature, thus creating a one-of-a-kind necklace. This is one of the great beauties of bone crafted jewelry. The longer the bone carving is worn the more intense the color change and the greater its value.

Hawaiian bone fish hooks typically measure 1 to 4 inches high and 1 to 2 inches wide. The necklaces are waterproof and can be worn swimming or showering. Water will not harm the carving and it can withstand most environments including salt water, pool water, bath water, and sweat.

The Cord and Lashing of the Hawaiian Bone Fish Hook Necklace

Hawaiian bone fish hooks usually come with an adjustable soft cotton linen woven cord. These cords adjust to create a perfect fit for any style outfit. On a traditional Hawaiian bone fish hook necklace what attaches the hook to the cord is called the lashing. The lashing method we use is similar to that of the old Hawaiians. Each hook is carefully hand-lashed using a handed-down Hawaiian technique to attach the hook to the cord. And each cord is hand braided to replicate the Hawaiian cordage used many years ago.
Thankfully, ancient arts such as bone carving continue to exist in our fast-paced, high-tech world. Bone carving is thriving thanks to artists, collectors and cultures found in Polynesia that still honor the tradition. Join the Hawaiian custom and tradition and get yourself one of these fine hand carved Hawaiian bone fish hook necklaces! Be sure to get yours from kkPacific.com.

Hawaiian Bone Fish Hook Necklace

29 Responses to “The Hawaiian Bone Fish Hook Necklace”

  • Angelo:

    How would I find out what direction the hook of the fishhook necklace is supposed to be? I plan on getting a few and would like to know any info I can.

    • Kana & Kala:

      Aloha Angelo
      There is no reference to the way a fishhook pendant should be worn in Hawaiian lore or custom. Given that, there it is the opinion of many carvers that hooks should be worn with the open end of the hook facing the heart. The reason is that it looks more natural and aesthetically pleasing. Hope that helps!

  • Sam:

    Does hook have a coating ti stop water from going through the pores? And if so how will is pick up the sebum

    • Kana & Kala:

      Aloha Sam The hooks do not have a coating. Think of the bone fish hook like a tooth. Teeth are always in contact with water yet they also can become stained.
      Mahalo,Kana & Kala

  • Bill:

    I lived Hawaii for 40 years, had to go mainland for personal reasons. Just before leaving the islands I was walking the beach near my home in Kailua, O’ahu. In shore break, at my feet, was a bone fish hook, yellowed with age and speckled with small spots of a reddish color. It looks very old. It is definitely NOT plastic or other manmade material. It is slightly spiral shaped from shaft to the hook. I assume that indicates the curvature of the bone from which it was carved. It has now been with me for nearly 14 years. I lashed it myself, and wear it always. I assumed that someone lost it, and that it came to me for some reason. It has what looks to be a small chip or tool mark on the inside of the shaft and either natural coarseness or tool mark on the flat inside curve of the hook. I believe that this fish hook may be a very old piece. There are no decorative carvings on the fish hook. I think the bone this was made from was a very “skinny” bone. I can take a high rez photo if you can offer any opinions on its provenance. Please contact me at my email address above if you can offer any information. Mahalo, Hookoa

    • Kana & Kala:

      Aloha Hookoa
      We’d be happy to view the hook image and offer our opinion on the origin of your found treasure. Please send us a few images from different angles.
      Kana & Kala

  • Doug Nunes:

    Hello! I purchased a fish hook necklace from you guys a few months back and it was fantastic! It was my favorite necklace and I never took it off. Unfortunately it was broken during a recent accident at work. I will be ordering a new one today. Keep up the great products. Nice to keep old traditions and folklore alive. Thanks again. Doug

  • Carolynn Clock:

    A young friend is traveling from the U.S. to teach in Thailand for a minimum of six months. Is the fish hook pendant an appropriate going away gift? Also all the comments on your website were written by men so I was wondering if women wear this pendant?
    Thank you.

  • Daron:

    Hello all. I’m visiting Hawaii from the US mainland. And I was just wondering what the locals think of visitors wearing the fish hook. I love them. I have to. And I love what they stand for. Do they get offended in a non Hawaiian is wearing one?

  • Pat Kemp:

    On one of my trips to Hawai’i I was told that each island had a very specific designed hook that represented that island. A certain placement and number of barbs represented Oahu etc. is this true? If so, where can I find a diagram that shows the specific shape and configuration for each island? Thanks.

  • Kay:

    What is the correct way to pronounce ‘Makau’? I hate to slaughter words and the Hawaiian language is really beautiful.
    Thanks, Kay

  • Kana & Kala:

    Aloha Allison
    Sorry, we do not have a page which explains the different meanings.
    The manaia koru hook you are referring to is a hook the artist creates using two things. The Manaia is a mythological creature in Māori culture, and has the head of a bird. The koru is a spiral shape based on the shape of a new fern. So the hook at the top resembles a bird and at the bottom there is the spiral which looks like a fern. We do have a hook that is similar in design here.
    Kana & Kala

  • Cynthia:

    I bought my husband a fishhook necklace around 10 years ago and he wore it till the roping broke. Can you fix the cord and redo the lashing on hooks and how much would it cost?

    • Kana & Kala:

      Aloha Cynthia
      We are so glad your husband wears his fish hook so much!
      We have a lifetime guarantee on the cord and lashing. Please return it to:
      KanaKala Pacific Trade
      54 Eleu Place
      Kihei HI 96753

      We will relash your husbands hook with a new cord.
      Kana & Kala

  • Jason:

    I purchased a hook necklace while in Hawaii about 5 yrs ago. The cord is starting to break. Can I send it to you to be replaced? Ant idea on the price would also be appreciated.

    • Kana & Kala:

      Aloha Jason
      You bet! We have a life time guarantee on our cords. Simply return your necklace and we will re lash it with a new cord.
      Kana & Kala

  • Adrienne:

    I got a hook necklace as a gift from my friend. He says its a Samoan Hook, but in not 100% sure if that’s true. Mine is brown with white showing from underneath and is shaped like the one in the image above, but the lashing is different.

  • Kana & Kala:

    Aloha Adrienne
    Fish hooks are carved all over the South Pacific so it absolutely possible it is Samoan.

  • Harry Okahashi:

    I saw that video about making fish hook. How much is that hook that is made in that video. I would like to buy one just like that. I have one made out of whale bone and it broked so I super glued it together I have been wearing it for 15yrs. Where can I buy your hook?

    • Kana & Kala:

      Aloha Harry
      We have many varieties of bone fish hooks. Please click on the store link above to view them.
      Kana & Kala

  • Karla:

    My husband purchased a bone fishhook necklace years from Sami while visiting hawaii. I’ve heard he is currently not able to repair. It needs a new cord after years of wearing. Can you help me with this? Hoping to hear back from you. Have a great day! Karla

  • Aloha, I just took a recent trip to O’ahu and purchased 2 different fishhooks for myself. One made of Hawaiian Koa wood and the other of sterling silver with Koa wood inlaid in it. My Koa wood fishhook points to the left and my silver fishhook points to the right. I was wondering if there is any meaning or significance as to which way the fishhook points when it is being worn. Any information would be greatly appreciated.


    • Kana & Kala:

      Aloha Carlos
      In Hawaii there is no significance to wearing a hook to the left or right.
      Kana & Kala

  • Kana & Kala:

    Aloha Curt
    We do confess to using some of their designs and have our own carvers replicate them. And we also have designed our own or look for Celebrities who have had them designed for them. Like our Stevie Ray Vaughn hook.

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