Thomas George Thrum

Thomas Thrum considered himself to be the “father of the Menehune.”

In his anthology Hawaiian Folk Tales, he wrote the section: “Stories of the Menehunes of Hawaii The Original Home of the Brownies”, among others, in which he notes:

“It will doubtlesss interest some readers to learn that Hawaii is the real home of the Brownies, or was; and that this adventurous nomadic tribe were known to the Hawaiians long before Swift’s satirical mind conceived his Lilliputians.

“It would be unreasonable to expect so great a range of nationalities and peculiar characteristics among the pygmies of Hawaii as among the Brownies of story. Tradition naturally represents them as of one race, and all nimble workers; not a gentlemen dude, or policeman in the whole lot. Unlike the inquisitive and mischievous athletes of present fame, the original and genuine Brownies, known as the Menehunes, are referred to as an industrious race. In fact, it was their alleged power to perform a marvellous amount of labor in a short space of time that has fixed them in the minds of Hawaiians, many of whom point to certain traces of their work in various parts of the islands to substantiate the traditional claim of their existence.”

Thomas G. Thrum, Hawaiian Folk Tales. Republished 2008 by:

Thrum’s Hawaiian Annual (fully Thrum’s Hawaiian Annual and Standard Guide) is a statistical compendium of Hawaiiana ranging from Hawaiian Mythology to Hawaiian language to sites of interest in Hawaii, published by Star-Bulletin Printing Company. The original research was compiled by antiquarian bookman Thomas George Thrum, and first published inĀ  1875 as The Hawaiian Annual and Almanac.

By Thomas G. Thrum:

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