ANALYSING THE MOTIF OF “DWARF PEOPLE” IN POLYNESIAN MYTHOLOGIES, THEIR ORIGIN AND CHARACTERISTICS. PART I.
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This article analyses myths regarding so-called “dwarf people,” which were recorded in the region of Polynesia. According to many of these myths, these people were ancient ancestors of current-day Polynesians. Common characteristics of these people across various myths include their very short stocky stature, living in deep valleys and forests hidden away from others. All myths about Menehune highlight their exceptional skill in working with stone and building various structures such as shrines, waterways, ponds, roads, and others. Much Hawaiian mythology attributes many stone structures to their work. Anthropologists and scholars of religion favour the opinion that these “dwarf people” were purely mythical beings. However, since the discovery of skeletons of small people on Flores Island in 2003, this topic can now be viewed from a completely different angle.
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