Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Menehune range from six inches to two feet (15-60 cm) tall. They are always naked but are covered by long hair. They are afraid of owls. When they become too mischievous and cause too much chaos, the owl god, Paupueo, sends all the owls to chase them into the forest. They enjoy singing, sports (including archery) and dancing.
In Hawaiian legends, the Menehune are stonemasons. The legends claim that the Menehune built temples, fishponds, and even highways. They make canoes, build houses, and do many of the pleasant things fairies are always doing.
The Hawaiian natives claim that when their ancestors arrived in Hawaii, they found dams, temples and other structures built by the Menehune, who lived in caves. Some Hawaiian men married Menehune females, and had to teach them how to create fire and eat cooked food.
Since the term Menehune is also used to describe the original settlers of Hawaii while Manahune is used to describe the original settlers of Tahiti, scholars have theorized that the legendary Menehune might be based on the historical Marquesans, the first seafaring Polynesians.
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