Mark Noll Designs
Wood and bone keiki makau
Small wood bone Makau.
The Meaning of Makau
Regarded as a symbol for safe passage over water, the makau, or fishhook, brings good fortune and strength to those who wear it. Also used as OluKai’s logo, the makau has held deep cultural significance in Hawai’i and throughout the Polynesian Triangle for over a millennium. Traditionally carved from bone, wood, stone and coral, different makau were crafted to catch every single type of fish and sea creature; a craft which was often passed down through generations.
Some makau were prized so highly, that they were thought to possess mana (celestial powers) and were hidden in gourds. Even in Hawaiian lore, the god Māui had a makau called Mānaiakalani that he used to try and hook all of the islands together to unite them. This same sentiment of unity still rings true today in Hawai‘i, as the makau remains a symbol of humans’ connection with the sea, its creatures and the fragile balance of life on the Islands.