#AlexOLoughlin and the Fish Hook Necklace

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.

Hawaiian makau

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.

 HawaiianLife.com

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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.

 kk Pacific.com

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alex-shaka-white-t

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.

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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

Koru Fish Hook Maori Bone Carving New Zealand

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.

NZPacific

necklace-dl

 Summary:

  • 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.

UPDATE:

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.
ALOOOHA
BEN

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:

I make a Maui Fish Hook necklace myself, living here on Maui.

I’m always a little surprised when people say that the hook part should go to the right or over the heart. When the first Polynesians came to Hawaii in their canoes they developed the story of about how Maui, the Demigod, sent his fishhook into the water and pulled the island of Maui up from the ocean.

The Maui Fishhook constellation is the same constellation as Scorpio and the hook is to the left. If you imagine the Polynesians coming across the ocean and seeing that the Fishhook Constellation, or Scorpio, lies flat and then as the night progresses the fishhook rises vertically right above Haleakala Volcano. It just doesn’t make any sense at all that people would think the hook goes in the other direction when you’re actually looking at the constellation which it represents.

Wear it anyway you want, of course, but if you think about the past, and history, and the Polynesians, it’s hard to imagine that it would go anyway except for the hook being on the left while you’re looking at it.

Mahalo and Aloha!

Bruce H. Tapley – The Tapley Collection

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.

26 Comments

Filed under Alex O´Loughlin, Intense Research Reports

26 responses to “#AlexOLoughlin and the Fish Hook Necklace

  1. Manu

    Thank you for this awesome post 🙂
    i have always loved those necklaces when i saw alex wearing them, so much that i bought one for myself too!
    I like the meaning that they have as well.
    And of course all these pics are gorgeous

    Like

  2. Sylvie

    That is what I called “an intense study”.
    What a job you’ve done FOYeur!!
    THX

    Like

  3. Thank you for another great study. I already searched on internet and found the same explanation that you. Only wish someone ask him about his fish hook necklaces. Maybe he tells something more about it.

    Like

    • gracenotpark

      I agree, Marta! Stop asking him about James Bond and Book em Danno and update the queries, press people! I would love to know the stories (that he is willing to,share) behind his collection. And I would certainly guess that to our incredibly sentient actor, these necklaces do indeed have personal meaning.

      I particularly appreciate this post because, unobservant me, I had never noticed he had several different of these necklaces. I guess the fishhooks were just a scooter, cos I definitely remember these pics of him. 😆

      So thank you for intensely studying something I had barely even noticed but which, now I know the history, seems all Alex, indeed!

      Like

  4. Thank you so much for this information! I also did some research on my own when I first saw him wearing the necklace. Because we don’t know why or the reasons Alex wears the necklace or who may have given it to him, we can only speculate. But I am hoping it means the world to him and he will wear them with honor and pass them on to the boys! Thanks again!

    Like

  5. NINA

    post très intéressant à lire sur les coutumes tribales 🙂

    Like

  6. Coming from New Zealand and having Maori children I can give you my perspective on it. They are not know as necklaces here, or jewelry in fact. A necklace is something you wear or not wear when you feel like for fashion sake. Here they are known as “Taonga” a treasure. Or just plainly a Bone Carving. They are never taken off as they become part of you. They information is right in the fact they are yours and yours only and worn close to the skin, absorb warmth and your ‘wairua’ (spirit) That is why it’s very important that other people do not touch you toanga. It is ok however to pass through families as a treasured heirloom.
    These are always gifted to you or made for you, you must never buy one for yourself. Both my girls have a taonga made from pounamu which is a very rare and precious greenstone native to NZ. These were gifted to my girls during their time in the schools Kapa Haka group. (Maori Cultural Song and Dance Group) for their performances and leadership during the years at primary school.

    The fish hook also represents fertility and the Koru is also often associated with nurturing. When the koru is interlocked with others it’s used to represent the strength and purity of a loving relationship within a family. I believe that this is the meaning behind Alex’s bigger taonga. It now takes into consideration the unity of his new family and the loving relationships within it. 🙂 ♥

    Like

    • Thank you for adding more information about the fish hook necklace. I understand that like you said isn’t a necklace, but must be the easier way to have the “treasure” close to you. And like i suspected it must be a gift and not buy for yourself. So, Alex received at least 3 “treasures”. He must feel very honored.

      Like

      • You’re welcome. 🙂 Honoured is a good word. In Maori he would be known as having great ‘mana’. Mana is not something you give yourself or label yourself as having (self importance, ego) but a feeling of honour and greatness bestowed upon you from others.

        Like

  7. This piece as written with thoughtfulness and love. What a lovely thing to share with the Alex fans. Thank you. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  8. karen1228

    Thanks so much for this great, informative piece. Since the piece should be given as a gift (much like the Irish Claddagh ring) I better start dropping some mega big hints that I’d like one! And thanks Caroline White for adding your knowledge to it!

    Like

  9. This was a beautiful and very interesting post.Many thanks to FOYeur and to all who added the wonderful comments

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Africa

    Question; If he suppose to wear it constantly, why doesn’t he? Oke, understand that he can’t wear during filming, but when he’s off, don’t see many times.

    I think this is just a temporary thing, like the Donate Life pin. Soon he will grow tired of wearing it.
    Think Alex is a “I”ll ride every wave that comes my way.” That is until he grows tired of something.
    Great actor though.

    Like

    • Hi Africa
      Please remember what I said in the piece above, this will mean to everybody different things depending on where they are from and in what situation they got the gift.
      The story that Caroline wrote about, comes from the New Zealand Maori traditions in regards to the necklace and it has nothing to do with what it means to Alex. I suspect that the Hawaiian traditions in regards to it are also different and maybe a lot more relaxed to that of the New Zealand Maori’s.
      If it was not meant to be taken off, then Alex would have to wear all 3 of his, at the same time. And it would have been rude for more people to give him a new one, when he already had one to wear (He’s got 3 that we know off). I think it shows that he does not see it in the same regard, in which Caroline described.
      I personally would also not want a gift given to me, that would bind me so much…..that it rules my life.
      I see things like this, used in accordance with the occasion. Every occasion might not be the right one to wear something like a pin or a necklace. We all change and our priorities and what we do change. Alex is still doing things for organ donation in the ways that are possible to him in his present circumstance. I believe, if he was still part of Three Rivers and actively involved with Donate Life on a daily basis he would still be wearing his pin to most occasions.
      I definitely do not wear all the tokens and stuff that I used to do wear over the years or in past projects………
      I also believe, it is better to live with and for the moment and ride the present wave, because if we carry too much baggage with us, it might weigh us down and we will disappear under the water of life’s waves!
      And I agree – he is a great actor and a great person as well!

      Like

  11. And again one of your incredible studies!!! I never noticed the double hook before.
    As for the wedding hook: I thought it was his old fish hook with added gold inlays. Is it a different one?

    Like

    • Yes, I think it looks a lot like the other single one (so maybe it was that one that was just ultered), but can’t be sure about it. I guess the only way we would know is if he ever say anything about it, OR if we ever see him wear the old one again, then we will know that it was not changed. 🙂

      Like

  12. if you want to purchase or know more about alex’s necklace you can order from the website https://makaunui.com or if you have any questions ask the carver himself makaunui@gmail.com

    Like

  13. My Name is Ben Muti Im 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.
    ALOOOHA
    BEN

    Like

    • Hi Ben
      Thank you for sharing the information about the tradition and the design of these necklaces. It is always great to see how Alex embrace the Hawaiian culture and enjoy being part of his ‘new’ home.
      If I understand you correctly, the part with the darker colour that looks like gold in the wedding necklace, was cause by the environment where it was buried.

      Like

  14. I make a Maui Fish Hook necklace myself, living here on Maui. I’m always a little surprised when people say that the hook part should go to the right or over the heart. When the first Polynesians came to Hawaii in their canoes they developed the story of about how Maui, the Demigod, sent his fishhook into the water and pulled the island of Maui up from the ocean. The Maui Fishhook constellation is the same constellation as Scorpio and the hook is to the left. If you imagine the Polynesians coming across the ocean and seeing that the Fishhook Constellation, or Scorpio, lies flat and then as the night progresses the fishhook rises vertically right above Haleakala Volcano. It just doesn’t make any sense at all that people would think the hook goes in the other direction when you’re actually looking at the constellation which it represents. Wear it anyway you want, of course, but if you think about the past, and history, and the Polynesians, it’s hard to imagine that it would go anyway except for the hook being on the left while you’re looking at it. Mahalo and Aloha! Bruce H. Tapley – The Tapley Collection

    Liked by 1 person

    • Looking at it, the hook is to the left.

      Like

    • Hi Bruce
      I have never really picked up the fact that people say how and where you should wear it. Thanks for the info.
      I see Alex wear it to both sides, so I guess it does not really matter to him and that his were made to wear to either side?
      Maybe you can add better insight to the one with the “double” hook. Is there a special meaning for it?

      Like

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