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In Polynesian mythology, the Menehune are similar to fairies. They are trickster beings, though usually merely mischievous and not cruel. The chiefs of the Menehune are called Alii Menehune.

The Menehune range from six inches to two feet (15-60 cm) tall. They are always naked but are covered by long hair. They are afraid of owls. When they become too mischievous and cause too much chaos, the owl god, Paupueo, sends all the owls to chase them into the forest. They enjoy singing, sports (including archery) and dancing.

The Hawaiian natives claim that, when their ancestors arrived in Hawaii, they found dams, temples and other structures built by the Menehune, who lived in caves. Some Hawaiian men married Memehune females, and had to teach them how to create fire and eat cooked food.