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Hawaiian Legends: Menehune

Hawaiian Legends of Menehune

Menehune are a mythological dwarf people in Hawaiian tradition who are said to live in the deep forests and hidden valleys of the Hawaiian Islands, hidden and far away from human settlements. The Menehune are described as superb craftspeople. They built temples (heiau), fishponds, roads, canoes, and houses. Some of these structures that Hawaiian folklore attributed to the Menehune still exist.

They are said to have lived in Hawaiʻi before settlers arrived from Polynesia many centuries ago. Their favorite food is the maiʻa (banana), and they also like fish. Legend has it that the Menehune will only appear during night hours, in order to build masterpieces. But if they fail to complete their work in the length of the night, they will leave it unoccupied. No one but their children and humans connected to them are able to see the Menehune.

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