The Meaning of the Hawaiian Bone Fish Hook Necklace
The 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
Each 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.
Louie the Fish is a Master Bone Carver, carving since the 70’s, when he earned a Degree in Fine Arts in Hawaii. Since then, he’s worked in Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, New Zealand, and currently lives and works on O’ahu, Hawaii. Check out his replica Hawaiian…