There are legends of both enormously large and diminutive individuals found all across the world. These tales are frequently labeled myths in popular culture, although the evidence is difficult to find. Giant skeletons may have been a closely kept secret, according to a number of conspiracy theories. The stories of giants and dwarves, however, seem to be more than just myths for a variety of reasons.
According to Hawaiian folklore, “Menehune” were a mysterious, short-statured tribe known as a “pygmy tribe,” who dwelt in the dense forests of the Hawaiian Islands. Today, locals refer to the structures these people left behind as proof that the Menehune were in fact the first people to colonize the islands before the Polynesians did.
These Menehune were reported to be roughly two feet (60 cm) tall, while some were as small as six inches (15 cm) tall, enough to fit in the palm of a hand. They prowled the deep forests at night. Their favorite foods were bananas and fish, and they took pleasure in dancing, singing, and archery.
According to local mythology told by Bradda Roy, the Menehune Fishpond on the island of Kauai is said to have appeared after just one moonlit night 1,000 years ago. An impressive stone wall that is 900 feet long and five feet high was used to build the pond. According to a legend, the Menehune built the wall by sending perfectly squared lava rocks over several kilometers to a quarry. The Menehune or Kkaola Ditch in Waimea is another structure that the Menehune might have built in the distant past. The 200-foot irrigation channel was built from 120 carved basalt slabs. (Source)
According to some researchers like folklorist Katharine Luomala, the Menehune were the original inhabitants of Hawaii and descended from the Marquesas islanders who are said to have initially settled the Hawaiian Islands between 0 and 350 AD. Luomala claimed that the word “Menehune” does not allude to an ancient race of people because they are not mentioned in pre-contact mythology. This argument, however, is weak because most historical tales were passed down orally from one generation to the next one.
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Many anthropologists think that Necker Island, which is part of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, was a sacred place. The people of Kauai, which is located to the southeast, have myths and stories that claim Necker Island was the Menehune’s final known haven. The Menehune are said to have moved to Necker after being driven from Kauai by the more powerful Polynesians, and they later built many stone structures there. A few hundred years after the main Hawaiian Islands were settled, visits to the island are supposed to have begun, and a similar number of years before European contact.
The crew of the show “Finding Bigfoot” detours and investigates the Menehune stories. They visited the Kauai Museum, where the curator, Chucky Boy Chock, shared with them legends about several Menehune species, such as Menehunia musclaris, boloheadus, kokee, and commercials. “The word Menehune comes from Tahitian for Manahune, which is Tahitian for ‘cast of commoners,’” says Chock. “The question that is always asked is, ‘Are they real stories?’ There is some evidence of that.”
According to the University of Hawaii at Manoa Library, “Sometime around A.D. 1500, Umi, king of the Big Island, supposedly conducted a census of his realm. Collecting all his people on a plain near Hualalai, he instructed each person to deposit a stone on a pile representing his district.
The first population census in historical times was undertaken in Wainiha Valley, Kauaʻi, near the beginning of the nineteenth century. A careful census of the valley counted more than 2,000 people, sixty-five of whom were described as Menehune. Menehune were the legendary race of small people who worked at night building fish ponds, roads, and temples.” Other sources suggest the census from 1820 counted 65 people as Menehune.
For the Kauai Historical Society, historian Aletha Ka’Ohi explains the “Mythical Menehune’s” history. She thinks the Tahitians gave the Menehune their name to cast them in a socially inferior light and that they were the forerunners of Hawaii’s initial inhabitants. According to witnesses that share their stories, the Menehune descendants still exist today, across the islands, and Menehune was a “common slave name.”
“In reality, the Menehune were distinct people of an ancient time,” said Ka’Ohi. She believes they existed and talks about the unusual stone tools they formerly used, called poi pounders. At Ua Huka, in the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia, a similar stone tool was discovered. Around 3,650 kilometers (2268 miles) separate the two islands.
Aletha Ka’Ohi also observes variations in language spelling and pronunciation that point to a connection to the Menehune and French Polynesia. She actually claimed to be a descendant of the Menehune and can trace her ancestry back to the Marquesas.
In 2003, archaeologists discovered an early human species, Homo floresiensis, on the Island of Flores in Indonesia, which is very close to the Marquesas Islands. The species, known as “the Hobbit,” may have existed for 190,000 years. A little human, about 3 feet 6 inches tall and 66 pounds in weight, left behind a female skeleton. Could these known small people be connected to the Menehune in some way?