Aletha Kaohi to discuss legends of Menehune

  • Aletha Kaohi poses in front of the maquette of King Kaumuali‘i for visitors during the King Kaumuali‘i Festival that was held as part of the Waimea Town Celebration at Paulaula, or The Russian Fort.

HANAPEPE — Have you ever really wondered who the Menehune were?

Historian Aletha Ka‘ohi will share “Tales of the Menehune” during a presentation by the Kauai Historical Society on Thursday.

“There are some factual things and there’s also a lot of legendary things,” Ka‘ohi said. “Have you ever wondered about who are these little people that lived here in Hawaii?”

Menehune were attributed as a race of small people who labored at night building fishponds, roads and heiau. An early 19th-century census in Wainiha Valley listed 65 individuals who identified themselves as Menehune.

“It’s part myth, and sometimes myth comes from facts,” Ka‘ohi said. “People don’t realize that. Sometimes it is a fact, and over the years it becomes a myth.”

Ka‘ohi, will share the background of the “Mythical Menehune” during her program. She will share her stories and knowledge as a retired public librarian, lecturer for seven years at Kauai Community College and president of Friends of King Kaumuali’i helping with fundraising efforts to erect a statue at Fort Elizabeth.

“I wear many hats, but my passion is preservation of history to tell them the truth,” she said.

She currently serves as manager at West Kauai Tech & Visitors Center and is frequently asked about the Menehune by tourists.

“It’s good storytelling,” Ka‘ohi said. “I’m a storyteller, so it’s very easy to use the Menehune. You capture the character of these little people.”

“There’s so many different stories,” she added. “I’m going to share different perspectives and then let them draw their own conclusion.”

The program is 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Hanapepe Hawaiian Congregational Church. Society members are free, and donations are welcomed.

Info: (808) 245-3373,

  1. Jana Blay February 7, 2018 12:20 pm Reply

    CHANGE of VENUE NOTICE: Due to so much fabulous interest and RSVPs at Kauai Historical Society for Auntie Aletha’s “Tales of the Menehune”, the venue has changed.

    On Thursday, Feb. 8, at 6:00pm, the Menehune talk will be held at HANAPEPE HAWAIIAN CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH.

    Please note this change of venue and thank you for your participation.

  2. avcwbcoach February 7, 2018 12:22 pm Reply


  3. Eric K. Keawe February 8, 2018 3:12 pm Reply

    I hope her presentation will be recorded for us to view off island. She spoke to our Ho’oponopono class taught by Kumu Earl Kawa’a. She is a great speaker.

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