Menehune Ditch


According to island lore, a race of little people built the Menehune Ditch, which functions today as part of an irrigation system. They are said to have built the aqueduct to help the island's high chief get river water to his people's taro fields. The mysterious engineers supposedly accomplished this in just one night, cutting and dressing the stones, transporting them, and fitting them into place using a fireman's bucket brigade-type system. Archaeologists say the elaborate engineering style is unlike that of the early Hawaiians and note that the stone markings seem to bear no relation to Hawaiian drawings, symbols, or designs.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Civil
Topic(s):Structures
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:Legends say that the Menehune, a race of small elf-like people, inhabited the Hawaiian islands prior to the arrival of the Marquesans and Tahitians. Kauai, generally considered the home of the Menehunes, has many stories crediting these little people with incredible engineering feats, each project taking only one night to complete.