Hawaii's Legend of the Menehune

The worked facing stones of Kikiaola ditch, purportedly created by the the Menehune, sometimes known as Menehune Ditch. Photo by Joseph Patrick Gray, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

The story of the Menehune is one that's been handed down through oral history for generations. But can the roots of this mythological group of people be traced to real-world events?

Holly's Research:

  • Ebbesmeyer, Curtis and Eric Scigliano. “Borne on a Black Current.” Smithsonian. June 15, 2009. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/borne-on-a-black-current-31467673/
  • “Hawaii – History and Heritage.” Smithsonian. Nov. 6, 2007. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/hawaii-history-and-heritage-4164590/
  • “Homo floresiensis.” Smithsonian. June 29, 2017. http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils/species/homo-floresiensis
  • Dorey, Fran. “Homo Floresiensis.” Australian Museum. March 31, 2016. https://australianmuseum.net.au/homo-floresiensiss
  • Oliver, Douglas L. “Polynesia in Early Historic Times.” Bess Press. 2002. “Kahalu-u Bay Cultural Sites.” https://data.nodc.noaa.gov/coris/library/NOAA/CRCP/project/1413/NA06NMF4630106_kahaluu_cultural_sites.pdf
  • Lamb, W. Kaye. “The Voyage of George Vancouver, 1791-1795: Volumes I–IV.” Routledge. 2017.
  • Historic Hawaii Foundation. “Kikiaola (Menehune Ditch).” June 16, 2014. https://historichawaii.org/2014/06/16/kikiaola-menehune-ditch/
  • Historic Hawaii Foundation. “Menehune Fishpond (Alekoko Fishpond).” June 20, 2014. https://historichawaii.org/2014/06/20/menehune-fishpond-alekoko-fishpond/
  • Rice, William Hyde. “Hawaiian Legends.” Bernice P. Bishop Museum. 1923. Accessed online: http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/pubs-online/pdf/bull3.pdf
  • Wadsworth, H.A. “A Historical Summary of Irrigation in Hawaii.” University of Hawaii. 1933.

Topics in this Podcast: Hawaii, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage, mythology, legends