What Is the Meaning of Maui Hook Necklaces?

The Hawaiian demigod Maui, known for his ability to shapeshift into different animals, wielded a large fishhook while traveling around the islands. This hooked necklace is believed to have been used to catch fish for sustenance, and some believe it could even protect against evil spirits. There are many variations of this necklace, including those without hooks, and some even include a stone pendant. These necklaces have become increasingly popular over the past few years and are often worn during festivals and special occasions.

The Fish Hook Brings Safe Passage Over Water

In the ancient Hawaiian culture, the fish hook symbolized safe passage across water. In modern times, it represents protection, strength and courage. For centuries, Native Hawaiian fisherman have worn Hawaiian bone fish hook necklaces to protect themselves against harm. Today, the tradition continues among the descendants of those who wore the traditional hook pendants. In fact, many people wear a fish hook around their neck because it represents protection and safety.

About Maui Hook Necklaces

The Maori people of New Zealand say that the fish hook symbolizes the sea and a connection to the ancestors. In addition to being a cultural icon, the fish hook is also a source of income for some Maori families. A traditional fishing method involves weaving a single strand of fiber into a net, called a kawe. This is done to catch small fish such as snapper, sardines, and mullet. When the net is full, it is tied off and hung to dry. Once dry, the kawe is cut into pieces and sold to local artisans.

A modern version of the kawe uses nylon rope, but the process is very similar. These days, many fishermen prefer to use a synthetic material because it does not rot like natural materials do. However, the fish hook is still handmade using bone and wood.

History of the Makau Hook in Hawaii

The Hawaiian fish hook has been used for thousands of years and holds a special place in Hawaiian mythology. The traditional fish hook is called Makau. But the one Maui uses in Hawaiian myths is called Manaiakani. Like many others, Maui uses his fishing hook to pull up the island that we now know as Hawaii during a fishing trip with His brothers.

Hawaii fishermen began using these traditional fish hooks to fish and later crafted them into necklaces worn for good luck and safe travels across the ocean. Today, Maui hook necklaces are still being worn today by many people worldwide.

What Types of Materials Are Used to Make Hawaiian Fish Hook Necklaces?

The fish hook symbol is an iconic symbol, and is one of the most popular types of jewelry worn by native Hawaiians today. They come in a variety of styles, colors, sizes, and types of material. Some are made from real bone, while others use cow horn, coral, shell, koa wood, or even gold. Each material offers different benefits, so it’s important to know what makes up your piece.


The most common type of Maui hook necklace is made from whalebone. These pieces are often used as pendants, earrings, bracelets, anklets, and rings. Bone is durable and lightweight, making it easy to wear. You won’t find many negative comments about wearing bone because it doesn’t irritate skin like many other materials do.


Coral is another great option for creating a beautiful Maui hook necklace. Coral is a hard mineral found in oceans around the world, including Hawaii. In addition to being beautiful, coral is very strong and long lasting. When choosing coral, look for a color that matches your skin tone. This way, the coral will blend well with your face and body.

Cow Horn

Another great choice for a Maui hook necklace is cow horn. Cow horn is a natural material that is soft and light weight. Because cow horns are porous, they absorb oils and moisture from the air, keeping your jewelry safe and clean. A downside to cow horn is that it takes longer to craft and polish compared to other materials. If you want something unique, cow horn might be just the thing.

Offering Unique Gifts Since 2015

Maori Man is a Hawaii-based online store. We have a variety Hawaiian fish hook pendants and necklaces to choose from. We have larger hook necklaces to different fish hook shapes. If you have any questions about our products or us, please feel free to email us and we will be happy to assist you. Mahalo!

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