Over the past few years we have seen Alex wear a ‘Fish hook necklace‘ on a number of occasions and we thought we should take a closer look …..
Of course every symbol and gift also have specific significance for each individual person wearing it. It depends on where they got it, who maybe gave it to them and the occasion with its memory and reason behind it. Even if we therefore know the general symbolism of it, we will never really know the story behind it is for Alex, unless he someday shares it himself.
(We apologize for the quality of the pictures, but it is because they are all candid photos posted by fans)
The Single Fish Hook:
We first saw Alex wearing the single Fish hook during September/October 2012.
The Double Fish Hook:
These two pictures above were taken during hiatus (June) 2012
The first picture was taken in November 2012 and the second one in December 2012.
The last time I can remember seeing him with it and the only “official” occasion, we ever saw the double Fish hook, was at the ‘I Heart the Ocean fundraiser‘ on 9 February 2013.
I have been searching to find any similar double hooks and maybe a specific symbolism behind it, but thus far I have not been able to find anything on it……..
Fish Hook with ‘Gold’
On his wedding day in 2014 and the a week later on the picture where Alex was signing some more ‘Taylor Blue’ nail polish bottles, we saw him wear this Fish hook. It looks like a special Fish hook, with some ‘gold’ and maybe even other precious stones inlaid in it as well.
Now that we have seen the different Fish hook necklaces Alex wore, let us have a look it what these necklaces mean in the Hawaiian culture. With the lack of any personal knowledge on it, we will share what we could find on the internet about it.
The meaning behind the Hawaiian fish hook necklace:
The deep connection and reverence the Hawaiians had for the ocean created the meaning behind the Hawaiian fish hook necklace. The ocean surrounded them, was their source of food and their means of travel. Their jewelry and ornamentation was made of shells fished from the sea. They had navigated thousands of miles on uncharted high oceans, depending on their navigation by the stars and by listening to the language of the waves.
Known in Hawaiian as the makau, the fish hook pendant stands for everything that is good and promises its wearer prosperity, strength and good luck.
The importance of knotting
By observing the care taken by the ancient Polynesians to securely lash the fish hooks, we start to understand the meaning behind the Hawaiian fish hook necklace. In the ancient culture, a knot was deemed a sacred binding between man and the gods. In the importance they paid to knotting and cording, the Hawaiians were similar to other ancient cultures. The Incans for example used knots to store information.
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.
What It Means to Give a Fish Hook
The famous Manaiakalani is constructed of wood and bone, and is currently on display at the Bishop museum in Honolulu. In honor of Manaiakalani, giving a Hawaiian fish hook to someone symbolizes strength and prosperity, and is said to bring good luck for those traveling at sea. In addition, the wearer enjoys the prestige of being a great provider. It is not necessarily a romantic gift, but it is a gift given out of love.
About Fish Hook Jewelry
Authentic fish hooks are carved from bone, fossilized ivory and/or koa wood, which is prized for its strength, color and beautiful grain patterns. The legend became commerce about 15 years ago when a resurgence of the Hawaiian culture began to take form. Commercial manufacturers soon jumped on the bandwagon and began mass producing cheap knockoffs to be sold everywhere, but the real artisan work, handmade and individual, can still be found.
A Wondrous Gift
Giving a gift of a Hawaiian fish hook is highly symbolic and deeply meaningful. Specific carved designs add extra layers of meaning to the fish hook, depending on the specific cultural area where the carving is made. It is a gift rich with history and steeped in legend, a special treasure with roots in ancient lore.
Some more information on the Maori traditions, where the symbolism of the fish hooks originated from. This specifically might solve the mystery of the “double” fish hook…..
Koru fish hook bone
In Maoritradition the fish hook known as ‘Hei Matau’ represent strength, prosperity, abundance and a great respect for the ocean and marine creatures. It is said to provide protection when traveling, especially over water, so is often worn by travelers as a talisman. Hei Matau are also symbols of power and authority which are held in great reverance by the Maori tribes people of New Zealand. They were used as a practical tool for fishing and were often decorated as a sign of great respect for marine life.
There are many styles of fish hook necklaces worn by the Maoritribes from true hook designs to more ornamental styles which became treasured heirlooms for generations following.
The curved koru shape also included in the symbolism of this wearable artwork mimics the unfurling of a new fern frond, representing new life, new beginnings, love and harmony.
The organic flowing shapes of traditional bone necklaces feel warm against the skin with a smooth polish. Over time the bone will absorb the oils of your skin, the Maori people believe this exchange of oils is the carving receiving the essence of spirit, truly blending to become part of you.
In tribal tradition, as the carving is transferred through the generations, it continues to hold the spirit of those who came before.
- These necklace’s are often given as special gifts with symbolism and meaning. Not romantically, but out of love
- It is a wish for strength, prosperity and to bring good luck and a safe journey to travelers.
- It is given to the captains and such a person is seen as a great provider
As I said in the beginning the information we give, is only what we could find in general and should not be regarded as any true meaning of these necklaces for Alex specifically.
After we posted this story, Benjamin Muti, who carved Alex’s necklaces, made a comment on this post and we would like to include it in here, because people do not always look at all the comments below.
My Name is Ben Muti.
I’m the carver of Alex’s Necklaces sold at my brothers kiosk at the Dole Plantation in ‘Oahu Hawaii.
I am now living at the big island known as the Hawaiian Island. Caroline White is right about some of the meanings to Alex’s Necklace. I am a traditional carver out of Hawaii.
On his Necklaces, One was for his wedding and a few others he had got later last year with some of the cast members of H5o. They all have a MANA’O [spiritual meanings to them] which i only share with those who buy my work. Because of people stealing and copying my designs.
The materials he is wearing some are 800-1000 year old fossilized ivory and the different colors on the material its because the materials where found buried where there is copper and minerals.
The one he wore on his wedding day is out of the Hawaiian traditional material which is Whale bone and some out of cow bone.
In the Hawaiian culture there is no restrictions to how you buy a necklace. You can buy your own necklace or for others. It is a tradition that your necklace can be past on at a moment that is special between you and that person as in reference to your mana’o (energy) will be with that person.
I still make those symbol that Alex is wearing some on my website i don’t post all my designs because its in my little store wwwmakaunui.com
MAHALO NUI FROM KAILUA KONA HAWAII.
The has also been questions about how the Fish Hook necklace should be worn.
Lucky for us there was also a comment by Bruce H Tapley:
It is interesting that we haven’t seen Alex with these necklaces in the later years. But then again we haven’t seen many pictures of him attending any social events in Hawaii for a number of years now.
Maybe some of you can refresh my memory, if you can remember more recent pictures of Alex wearing the necklaces.