Maori Hook Necklaces
These are my latest carvings. They are my local take on the traditional Polynesian style of carving Hei Matau. Traverse city, along with the general lake Michigan shoreline, is sort of the ‘third coast’. This style of carving is very popular in coastal areas all over the world, but I have yet to see a version adapted to a more ”freshwater” style. Hopefully this is a unique new craft that will be appreciated by local Michiganders familiar with Hawaiian, Maori, and general Polynesian culture.
The carvings themselves are made out of cow bone. I carved it with a bandsaw, drumsander, and a flexishaft Dremel. The cord is cotton that I dyed and twined into cordage myself. I also waxed the cotton myself as well. The lashings holding the carvings to the cord is a completely traditional method that I taught myself.
The fish hooks traditionally represent strength, prosperity, abundance, fertility and a great respect for the water. The fish tails represent speed, strength, and support. The fish represents thankfulness and appreciation for what the water provides.