Jake studied Polynesian Bone Carving in Hawaii with two masters of the trade.
Teachers: Tatafu Langi – from Tonga - most influenced Jake with carving technique and what to look for in quality of materials: integrity, genetic flaws, worm holes, fractures etc. This helps in retrieving the best quality product. The two also “talked story” a long time about Polynesian design and spiritual meaning behind the pendants. Tonga's website is Mana'ia 'O Langi (gift from God). When Tatafu had to leave the Hawaiian Islands to help with family he asked Sami from Samoa if he would continue to teach Jake. Sami took Jake through the final stages of his Polynesian Bone carving studies.
Early Hawaiians used the bones of Ali’I (chiefs) to make fish hooks. The ancients believed that hooks carved from the chiefs had spiritual power “mana” that would help them in their hunt for sustenance.
For the pendants Jake uses various materials. Some of them are : Walrus tusk, Abalone shell, mother of pearl (shell), Opihi – a shell endemic to Hawaii, Puka shells (for the ties), Pau (New Zealand /Australian shell), Mammoth tusk. Domestic materials include : Moose antler and bone, Cow bone, Buffalo bone, Elk bone, and White Tail Deer Antlers.