Hawaiian Legend says that the Menehune were the original inhabitants of the Hawaiian Islands. Even before the arrival of the Polynesians from South Marquesas.
The Menehune were said to stand between 6 inches and 2 feet tall. (Their sizes varied and smaller Menehunes could be the most mischievous!)
The Menehune did not like human contact and were said to roam the forests, only working at night and staying hidden from everyone else.
They were said to be very strong, very industrious, master craftsmen that worked at night in order to stay hidden. Another power that the Menehune were said to have was the ability to shoot magic arrows at people whose hearts were filled with hate and they would be filled with feelings of love, instead.
Evidently, the Menehune legend also says that they loved to eat fish and cliff dive as one of their favorite past times.
The Menehune are given credit with engineering marvels that should not have been possible during their time. Two of those engineering feats are the Menehune Ditch that the Alekoki (Menehune) Fish Pond. Both are precisely and near perfectly built.
One thing that lends credit to the Menehune’s skills is more legend with a little bit of truth mixed in. The Menehune Fish Pond was left unfinished, with two gaps in the walls. (Read our more detailed Menehune post here for the answer to why it was left unfinished!) Long after, when Chinese immigrants tried to fill in the gaps in the fish pond wall, they were unable to duplicate the quality of work that was done by the Menehune.
Most people believe that the Menehune were eventually pushed out of the Islands by the Polynesian settlers. However many still think that the Menehune still roam secretly in forests and caves of the Islands. There are actually account of people seeing little people, or little villages, deep on hikes and in the tropical forests.
Today, the Menehune are blamed for playing “tricks” on people when things can’t be explained such as lost or misplaced keys, empty bottles with no explanation left around the den, etc.