Date of Performance/Collection: 4/21/20
Primary Language: English
Abstract: The original inhabiters of Hawaii known as the Menehune people are small people about the size of Dwarfs that live in the mountains and tend to cause disruptions such as high pitched noise at night. These inhabitants were once great and living on all of the islands until the Tahiti people forced them into extinction. The beings still inhabit the island but as ghosts or spirits seeking to rebuild ancient monuments and other necessities for their survival.
Background: DM is a student at the University of Southern California who is a native Hawaiin and grown up with many Hawaiin tales to explain how her place of living came to be. She finds great interest in the history of her island She grew up her entire life in Hawaii and with that, has heard a lot of folklore. After reading about famous Hawaiin Folklore, I saught to ask her about what she knows about her Island and its origins.
DM: The first one I have for you is both factual and fictional about the Menehune people. So for the factual part, they are the first people to inhabit the Islands of Hawaii before the Polynesians and other tribes came in. They’re responsible for a lot of interesting features left around Hawaii like temples and some fishing spots. People talk about them being short people who live in the mountains like Hawaiin Dwarfs. And the creepy part about them and this is where it could be fake is at night when you heard weird sounds and things moving around people just assume its the Menehune people causing all of the weird noises. It’s not the real ones who do this though it’s their spirits that roam the island.
It seems like these spirits are agitated because they were removed from their own Island thus why they create loud ominous sounds in the night. They’re also trying to rebuild which was once theirs by adding new structures and places to sustain themselves and continue to live on their islands. Hawaii has many large mountains and some of which are very difficult to reach thus these are the places where these people live. It’s interesting to hear that this particular story is both confirmed to be factual and fictional as there is proof that these people did on the Island but the fiction comes in the description of their current whereabouts. These people are also the dwarfs of Hawaii almost paralleling Dwarfs who work in mines and live in the mountains as portrayed by other media sources. This kind of the story of a group of people haunted those who moved them off of their land is similar to the story in America where Native Americans are believed to continue to live as spirits on their own land and haunt those who seek to settle on it or disturb and precious sites. In these cases, the haunting is justified as these people were wrongfully escorted off of their lands and killed which is why they seek to continue their residents on the islands to prosper on the land they started.