Matau - Hammerhead Shark
These very stylised fish hooks represent strength, prosperity,abundance, fertility and a great respect for the sea. It also is said to provide good luck and safety when traveling over water so is often worn by travelers. Hei-Matau are also symbols of power and authority which are held in great reverence by the Maori people. They were used as a practical tool for fishing and were often decorated as a sign of respect for the creatures of the sea.
There are many styles of Hei-Matau from the true hook designs to the more ornamental styles which became treasured heirlooms for generations following.