Every aboriginal culture over the last 10,000 years that made fish hooks have their own story that has been handed down from generation to generation by elders. The following story is what was told to me when I was Pomaika (blessed) to make fish hooks...
As the story goes original Hawaiian fish hooks were carved from many things, wood, shell, & bones, prior to using the femur bone of a deceased ancestor but not just any ancestor; the ancestor that had the most luck catching the fish. By using Great Grandpa's femur to catch the fish to feed the family it completes the "Circle of Life".
It is believed the hooks carry the spirit of what they are made from and take on part of the spirit of the carver. Today it is believed that hooks worn with respect, or given and received with love and respect takes on part of the spirit of those who wear or handle them. In this way it becomes a spiritual link between people spanning time and distance. It is further believed that wearing or having the hook provides safe passage and good fortune.
Stylized circle fish hooks represent strength, prosperity, and a great respect for the sea.
Mahalo and Aloha!