“Hei Matau” — [digital / continuous line with embellishments] • I started out with a one line base, then I noticed it looked like one of those fish hook pendants. So I decided to add a few embellishments to create a tribal look. You can see a fun little gif of the progression in my story!
Upon further research, the pendant is called a “hei matau” which means “to know”. A hei matau is a bone or greenstone carving in the shape of a highly stylized fish hook, typical of the Māori people of New Zealand. They represent strength, good luck, and safe travel across water.
The fish hook shape of the hei matau finds its origins in Māori legend, which holds that the North Island of New Zealand was once a huge fish that was caught by the great mariner, Maui, using only a woven line and a hook made from the jawbone of his grandmother.