This style of Fish Hook Pendant has its origins in a story which also explains the purpose of traditional art. Elaborate hooks were carved from bone, wood and stone to be lowered with the baited hooks because Tangaroa, the Sea God was known to reward excellent workmanship with a good catch. Naturally the skills learned in the making were transferred to making better ordinary hooks, and likewise the skills learned in making sure the good hook was safe on a well made line. The resulting good catch was attributed to pleasing the Spirit World, and so the Special hooks came to be worn as Good Luck charms. They are also, more importantly, a reminder of the value of excellence, and of the place of the Spirit World in our everyday world. My Matau designs usually begin with a head, often highly stylized, to remind us that Taonga are seen as individuals which invite you to give them their own name.
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