There are many folklores and legends around the world and in the islands of Hawaii they have the Menehune which they believe were the first settlers in Hawaii. They are little people that are believed to be about 2 feet tall while others think the Menehune are even shorter at just a few inches in height.
The origin of this legend is unclear. Some believe that Menehunes were just born as interpretation of Western legends of dwarves and imps and made a Hawaiian version of it while others believe that Menehunes are real and they settled in the Hawaiian Islands long before the Westerners discovered Hawaii.
The Menehune are believed to have lived in forests and caves and were especially thriving in the island of Kauai. Legends have it that these little people are excellent at crafting and that they built fishponds, temples, canoes, roads and houses. Legend tells us that the Menehune people can create wonderful creations in one night and they work at night so they won’t be seen. If the Menehune people’s work in progress had been spotted, they would immediately abandon it but luckily, they were never noticed and went on with their works overnight. Their legend is much similar to some Western little people such as the tooth fairy who collects teeth at night and goes unnoticed.
One story about the Menehune people was when a princess and prince wanted them to build a fishpond. The Alekoko fishpond is believed to be a creation of the Menehune people. They were promised that no one would ever observe them while they work but one night, the curious royals watched them work as they were hiding, hoping not to be spotted by the Menehune. But, they fell asleep and when the Menehune people spotted them, they were angry and turned the princess and her brother into stone pillars above the fishpond that they built. Because of this, they showed their dismay by leaving 2 gaps in the walls of the fishpond. The gap on the wall was only filled up in the late 19th century by the Chinese workers.
According to old stories, there were about 500,000 Menehune people living in the island of Kauai but they eventually disappeared or went into hiding. The latest known report about the Menehune was based on the census on the early 19th century when 65 people had listed their nationality to be Menehune. These 65 living people of the 19th century were living in Wainiha, a town just north of Kauai.
The Menehune legend continues to be a part of the Hawaiian’s beliefs with their myths and legends. Some swear that evidence from the islands prove that Menehune are indeed real but many also believe them as mythical creatures born out of the wild imaginations of people mixed with the different Western mythical creatures.