The Legend of the Menehune
Many centuries ago, the Menehune were a mischievous group of little people, or dwarfs, who lived in Hawaii, before the first settlers arrived from Polynesia.
Fearful of the “giants” they stayed hidden in the forests and valleys of the islands.
They were rarely seen by human eyes, until modern civilization where the deforistation have caused them to retreat underground.
Sometimes they are still spotted at night, and roamed the deep forests after midnight.
They range from 6-24 inches.
They enjoyed dancing, singing and hunting. Their favorite foods are bananas and fish.
The cupid legend is base on the Menehune have been known to use magic arrows to pierce the heart of angry people, igniting feelings of love instead.
These industrious master builders used their great strength to build temples (heiau).
One such structure they are believed to have built is Kikiaola, also known as the Menehune Ditch, a historic irrigation ditch that funnels water from the Waimea River on Kauai. Another one of their amazing feats is the legendary overnight creation of the Alekoko Fishpond on Kauai, which archaeologists estimate to be around 1,000 years old.
It is said that they built the Alekoko Fishpond for a princess and her brother. The shy but strong group lined up in a double row, which stretched 25 miles (40 km) to distant Makaweli. The workers passed stones hand-to-hand to build the pond. They worked at night so as not to be seen by others, cutting, transporting and fitting stones for their projects in a long bucket brigade. If they were discovered, their work would have been abandoned.
The Menehune were promised no one would watch them at work, which was carried out after dark. However, one night the royal siblings snuck up and watched the thousands of Menehune at work, Interrupted the Menehune left two gaps in the fishpond wall. Many generations later, Chinese settlers filled the gaps to raise mullet, but the stonework that closed the gap was far inferior to that of the mystical Menehune.
Another description that has been passed down in local folklore is of the three Menehune of Ainahou. Ainahou is a forest on the north side of Halekala Crater on Maui. The three Menehune were called Ha’alulu, Molawa and Eleu.
All the other Menehune living in Hawaii knew them well because they possessed very unusual powers. Ha’alulu means “to tremble” and it seemed like this little man was always cold, but his magic gift was that whenever he would start shaking, he would become invisible and could travel anywhere without being detected.
Eleu in Hawaiian means “quick and nimble” and whenever Eleu moved, he was so quick that he disappeared and no one could follow him. Molowa’s name means “lazy,” but what most people didn’t know was that whenever he appeared to be sleeping or lazy, his magical self became imperceptible and he would go around the island and do good deeds.
Even though the Menehune were said to have gone underground when the first settlers arrived in Hawaii, some people still believe that the Menehune are roaming the islands, carrying out tricks on people.
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