LocalOther May 27, 2022

The Mo’olelo of the Menehune and the Leprechaun

Name a group of small, mischievous, mythical, nocturnal artisans that love to sing & dance and are rarely seen by humans ….

Did you guess the menehune? You’re right!

Did you guess the leprechauns? You’re also right!

The legends and folklore differ between the menehune and leprechauns, but they share a lot in common. The details vary within their own histories, but it is commonly accepted that both groups were small compared to the average human and were not often seen by anyone unless caught by surprise.

The menehune people were a race of small native Hawaiians who inhabited the islands before the first settlers arrived from Polynesia. They spent their nights constructing legendary engineering feats in a single night before disappearing into the hidden forests and valleys. Their most famous creation is the Menehune Fishpond, also known as the Alakoko Fishpond, on the island of Kauai. The 900 ft wall in the pond was built to trap and raise fish for the ali’i (Hawaiian royalty).

Leprechauns are said to be skilled cobblers, a profession which provides them with their famous pots of gold. Those prized pots are hoarded and hid at the end of a rainbow where humans can try to catch them to barter their freedom for their treasure. But beware, those teeny dudes are known tricksters and it’s usually the human who ends up tricked! Keep your eyes open for rainbows and if you hear the sound of a cobbler’s hammer, there may be a leprechaun (and his gold!) nearby.