The Unbelievable Legend Of The Hawaiian Menehune Will Blow You Away

Hawaiian legend has it that the Menehune are a small dwarf-like species, similar to pixies or trolls, that hide deep in Hawaii’s forests and valleys. While these creatures are generally assumed to be mythical, a census from the 1820s officially counted 65 Menehune living in Wainiha Valley, on the island of Kauai. Some scholars use this information to back their theory that the Menehune were the first settlers of Hawaii from the Marquesas Islands, followed by settlers from Tahiti. The story goes that the Tahitians suppressed the “commoners” – the manahune in the Tahitian language – who then fled to the mountains.

For a little more information about the magical Menehune, check out this video from a tour guide near the Menehune Ditch.

Aren’t Hawaiian legends fascinating? What other Hawaiian legends would you like us to explore? Sound off in the comments on our Only In Hawaii Facebook page!

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Hawaii Legends

January 04, 2023

What are some other Hawaii legends and myths?

In addition to the myth of the Menehune, or Hawaiian troll, here are some other Hawaii legends and myths you might hear about:

  • Puna + The Dragon Goddess. In Hawaiian mythology, there were two main goddesses worshipped in the temples: Kihawahine and Haumea. When it was time for Haumea to marry, she took the chief of Oahu, Puna, as her husband. She wasn’t aware, however, that Kihawahine wanted chief Puna to be her husband. One day, Puna was lured out to sea by Kihawahine while looking for the perfect surf spot. Puna was taken to Molokai, where the “couple” lived together in a cave for quite some time, before he discovered that she was, in fact, a dragon goddess with a cruel temper. Eventually, Puna was able to escape with the help of his brother-in-law, Hinole, and made his way back to his wife, Haumea, though Kihawahine never stopped looking for him.
  • Never Pick the Red Lehya Blossoms. In Hawaiian mythology, Ohia and Lehua were young lovers, but one day, Pele met Ohia and decided that she wanted him for herself. When he rejected her, she turned him into an ugly, twisted tree. Pele ignored Lehua’s pleas to change him back, and the other gods, feeling sorry for the young girl, turned her into a beautiful red flower and placed her on the tree so the lovers never had to be apart again. Legend says that as long as the flowers remain on the tree, the weather is sunny and fair, but when a flower is plucked from the tree, rain falls like tears as Lehua cannot handle being separated from her love, Ohia.

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