The Hawaiin Myth of the Menehune People Essay


Myths, being narrations about early history ( Barker, 2014, p.4 ) explains societal happenings which involves supernatural events. When it comes to myths, people can be really opinionative when make up one’s minding if the myth is true or non. Some people believe it because it is a narrative they have been told while turning up or merely because it sounds fantastical, other people choose non to believe it until there is cogent evidence of whatever it is they have been told. It has become the duty of societal scientists, viz. Archeologists and Anthropologists to bring out the truth about these myths. One of the most ill-famed myths in Hawaii involves the Menehune people and the constructions that are believed to hold been built by subject.

The fable of the Menehune people takes different versions in Martha Warren Beckwiths’ book, Hawaiian Mythology ( 1940, pp.227-37 ) . Harmonizing to Brien Foerster ( 2000, pp.15-20 ) the term Menehune is merely a narrative which was altered and confused with the factual histories of the Manahune, the first colonists of the island who were lower in societal position compared to the Tahitians. The Menehune people nevertheless are believed to hold been little figured existences with a tallness of 15 to 90 centimeters that lived on Kauai before the Polynesian colonists and lived in caves and vales ( Mugner, 2013 ) . Merely as any other myth, the fable of the Menehune differs when it comes to the physical description of the Menehune, harmonizing to Eberhart ( 2002, p.326 ) they were good dressed, well-built and haired existences, compared to Mailly ( 1998 ) the Menehune had straight long hair that covered their undressed organic structures. This is merely minor differences between beginnings on the Menehune people. What many of the beginnings do hold on is that these existences enjoyed bananas, fish and amylum. Even though they were playful existences who liked playing games, diving, dance, doing music and vocalizing, they were good at bosom as they were known for hiting charming pointers at people who were infuriated, stirring up emotions of love alternatively. What makes the fable of the Menehune celebrated is that they were believed to hold been exceeding craftsmen, highly strong, fast and nocturnal ( Eberhart, 2002, p.236 ) . The Menehune have allegedly constructed houses, fishponds, ditches, roads and temples all in one dark and if by opportunity these constructions were non complete by dawn, they would abandon the construction. The most celebrated constructions said to hold been built by the Menehune is the Alekoko Fishpond, Kikiaolo Ditches, Necker Island Structures, Pa o ka Menehune groin and the Ulupo heiau ( Foerster, 2000, pp.15-20 ) ( Paul, 2007 ) . Even though the pool is no longer in usage today for fishing, alternatively it is a wetland for threatened birds. Archeologists estimate the pool to be over a thousand old ages old ( Foster, 2008, p.193 ) .the Kikiaolo ditches were built utilizing the same rock used in the Alekoko pool, the ditches lead H2O to other pools for irrigation ( Foster, 2008, p.203 ) . Necker Island has to be the most spoken approximately archeological site in Hawaii, compared to the other two islands which surround Necker that could hold supported a lasting population, the conditions on Necker Island suggest that a lasting population could non be sustained but there is cogent evidence of activity on the island ( Kirch, 1997, pp.94-98 ) .

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There has ever been struggle between scientific discipline and civilization, scientific discipline being a field whereby something can be proved or disproved, civilization on the other manus is something that has been embedded in us, and civilization is a manner of life. Just like any other myth, the Menehune myth is believed by some and non by others. There is non much scientific grounds to turn out that the Menehune did be besides the archeological sites that are said to hold been built by the Menehune, but archeologists are non one hundred per centum certain about this. Persons that are in favor of this myth normally have prejudices for this impression, culturally it might be that this was a narrative that they have grown up with being told which have led them to believe that that the Menehune did in existent fact be. Others might believe it for the interest of believing it ; this can besides be considered as a societal factor which contributes to the prejudice. For those that do non believe the myth, they base their sentiment on deficiency of grounds most of the clip. It’s no prevarication that how we perceive the universe is viz. based on our societal and cultural prejudices ( Boundless, 2014 ) to do something more favorable in the universe we live in but this can be seen as a job in some scientific Fieldss such as archeology and anthropology, because the universe today is non the same as it was a hundred old ages ago, even fifty old ages ago, there is a major difference in how history is viewed. Scientific theories are in topographic point to turn out or confute a impression and if a research worker is bias towards a specific impression, it is reflected in their work which in bend doesn’t provide the coveted result. In context of the Menehune myth, research workers ultimate end is to happen out if they did or still do be, they would make this by listening to the local population and their narrations about the Menehune, This can be seen as prejudice because locals tell research workers what they have heard and what they have been told as portion of folklore, this affects how research workers conduct their probe.

It would be wrong to state that scientific theories are based on what people believe in, but looking at it logically, what people believe in signifier the footing of scientific theories, which so form a broader image to carry on scientific research to turn out or confute the theory, so in kernel, scientific discipline is non a worthless manner of looking at the universe, but one must see how people view the worth culturally. The universe is viewed in many ways, scientific discipline is merely an added manner of looking at the universe, and the lone difference is that scientific discipline has authenticated justification. This is accomplished through insistent testing, observation and probes. Science replies unresolved enigmas, prevents the present coevals from doing past errors to make a better hereafter and most significantly provides a better apprehension of humanity. Science might non work out all our jobs but it most decidedly is a start. The one quality that any individual demands to hold when measuring a scientific theory, is that they need to be unfastened minded because scientific discipline has eternal possibilities.


Judging from the above mentioned, it is easy to see that scientific discipline plays a valuable function in society today, it does non merely uncover the truth but new finds are made utilizing scientific discipline. One must non bury nevertheless that societal and cultural prejudices besides play an of import function in o society and when it comes to issues sing myths of any sort, there will ever be two sides to the narrative, the truth that hasn’t been uncovered yet and the narratives that have been told over the many centuries and the Menehune myth is far from the truth,

Plants Cited

Barker, G. , 2014.What is a myth?Britannica Educational Publishing.

Beckwith, M.W. , 1940.Hawaiian Mythology. Hawai’i: University of Hawaii Press.

Boundless, 2014.cultural influences on perceptual experience. [ Online ] Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // [ Accessed 14 March 2015 ] .

Eberhart, G.M. , 2002.Cryptic Animals: A Guide to Cryptozoology. ABC-CLIO.

Foerster, B. , 2000.The Real History Of Hawaii: From Origins To The End Of The Monarchy.

Foster, J. , 2008.Frommer ‘s Kauai. 3rd erectile dysfunction. John Wiley & A ; Sons.

Kirch, P.V. , 1997.Feathered Supreme beings and Fishhooks: An Introduction to Hawaiian Archaeology and Prehistory. Hawai’i: University of Hawaii Press.

Mailly, H.D. , 1998.Menehune. [ Online ] Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // [ Accessed 13 March 2015 ] .

Mugner, S. , 2013.Sean Mugner. [ Online ] Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // [ Accessed 14 March 2015 ] .

Paul, P. , 2007.Were there menehune in Hawaii?[ Online ] Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // [ Accessed 14 March 2015 ] .



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