Fishponds in Hawaii: Made by Mythical Little People
Minutes from Lihue on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai is a manmade body of water known as Alekoko, or the Menehune Fishpond. The pond was built more than 1,000 years ago and is a true testament to Hawaiian/Polynesian aquaculture. These types of ponds are speckled all over the Hawaiian Islands as a way of trapping fish and being able to grab a fresh meal easily. However, how (and who/what) built this fishpond is the true story behind Alekoko.
The Menehune of Hawaii
Legend has it that an ancient race of people (the Menehune) built the fishpond in only one night, standing shoulder to shoulder for 20 miles as stones were passed from one to another. If this is true, then the Menehune are the actual native Hawaiians and were present on the Island well before the Polynesians migrated and settled on the Islands. Also, in Hawaiian Lore, the Menehune were mystical little people who were curious and mischievous.
One thing is for sure, though: The Menehune Fishpond is a marvel of ancient crafting. It is 900 feet across with walls up to 5 feet high. The stones are so finely cut and put together that many people say that it would be difficult to duplicate even with today’s technology. Also, the fishpond is date well before the Polynesians or any western influence ever had the chance to have any effect on the Hawaiian Islands.
Seeing Alekoko if You’re In Hawaii
While Alekoko and the area that it lays in (the Huleia National Wildlife Refuge) are closed to the public, it is possible to take kayaking tours down the Huleia River where you will be able to explore the gorgeous land and the entrance to Alekoko. Incidentally, you can always visit the Alekoko Scenic Lookout if you visit Hawaii and watch the sunset over a 1,000 year old pond that was made by either man or mythical little people known in Hawaii as the Menehune.