Shark Week is upon us! Before you sink your teeth into some new shark tooth jewelry, brush up on the facts. Did you ever think your shark jewelry could actually prevent shark attacks? What if your shark tooth jewelry kept you safe at the beach? Here are 7 facts about shark tooth jewelry you didn’t already know.
Shark Teeth aren’t hard to come by. Sharks have been around for 400 million years. While most of their body is cartilage and doesn’t fossilize, their teeth stick around. Sharks commonly lose teeth and replace them over their lifetime. It will take a lost tooth 10,000 years to become a fossil. Since these teeth are so easily collected and found, no sharks are harmed in the making of your shark tooth jewelry.
Image credit: Hawaiian Culture Centre
Before they were a fashion statement, shark teeth were used as a method of survival. Native Hawaiians, called them leiomano, and they served as weapons and to prepare food. They were even passed down to royalty! So basically, your shark tooth necklace is fit for a queen.
Shark teeth have long been recognized as a symbol of protection. The ancient Hawaiians wore shark tooth jewelry to keep any sea dangers at bay. This is based a myth of a young Hawaiian warrior who emerged from a battle with a sea god, victorious, and wearing a shark tooth necklace. Ever since, it’s believed that these teeth prevent shark attacks.
The necklaces first became popular in the ‘60s, and really gained popularity in the ‘70s, mainly due to the success of the movie shark thriller Jaws. The blockbuster hit came out in 1975, directed by Steven Spielberg. The story is about a great white who wreaks havoc on beach goers in a New England town, causing a shark hunt. You can even catch the flick in theaters this summer, as its been re-released for select showings. If you were in Austin, Texas last weekend and feeling brave, you could have gone to Jaws: On The Water and float on tubes over murky water while watching the scary showing on the screen. Happy 40th Jaws anniversary!
Many surfers wear shark tooth necklaces, not only for style, but for superstitious reasons as well. Wearing a shark tooth is said to prevent sharks from attacking you and protect you while you’re at sea. The charms and talismans are to bring them good luck and safe surfing.
Hawaiians not only want to protect themselves from sharks, they also worship them in a way. It’s believed that some sharks are embodied ancestors, gods and family deities known as ‘aumakua’. Therefore, they deserve respect.
Not only are shark teeth a symbol of strength and protection, they’re also a sign of masculinity! Men wore them to attract women. If only this worked for them. :)
Now, shark tooth necklaces are a trendy boho fashion statement. Gold dipped versions or versions on leather strands are extremely popular.
Wear it on your next vacation to keep you safe while you tan.
For a subtler look, try the small minimalistic shark tooth necklace. Let it become your good luck charm!
Rather stay on the boat than get in the water? Check out these nautical rope bracelets.
So this shark week, celebrate by investing in your new good luck charm- Shark Tooth Jewelry.