Menehune Breakwater at Kahaluu Bay- Wall of the Ancients
Popularly know by visitors as a great spot for snorkeling and surfing, Kahalu’u bay is home to the Pao ka Menehune breakwater or “Wall of the Ancients”. This breakwater consist of large boulder like stones that stretch almost halfway across the bay.
Hawaiian cultural theory suggests that the wall was built by the Menehune many many years ago. The menehune are known by the ancient Hawaiians as very tiny mischievous people and thought to be one of the original colonies of the Hawaiian islands. The menehune were believed to have enormous strength and capable of great feats of stone construction. There are several structures that were thought to be built by the menehune on the Hawaiian islands, but the most famous of all was the Pao Ka Menehune breakwater at Kahaluu Bay.
The Hawaiian tale says that the menehune who lived in the lava caves of the island would only come out at night to work. One night the menehune decided to built a wall all the way across Kahaluu Bay creating a giant fish pond and ruining the surfing break which the Ali’i (Hawaiian rulers) loved so much. They lined up from the mountain to the ocean passing large stones hand to hand all the way from the mountain down into the bay.
One of the Hawaiian chiefs saw what the menehune were trying to do, so he decided to trick the them. The menehune only worked at night and if they did not finish their project by sunrise, they would flee and never return to finish it. The chief knew this so he started crowing like the rooster. The menehune heard this and thought the sun was about to rise, so they fled back to their cave in the mountains and the wall was never finished. Thus, the breakwater stops halfway across the bay creating a safe place to snorkel and a great surfing wave for advanced and beginner surfers.