- Chef Sam Choy
- 10 Years of Aloha
There is a myth in Hawaii about the "Little People". These small folks are industrious and build fish ponds, Heiau (temples), bridges, shore breaks, and other things you find in tumbled heaps of lava rock laying about the islands. We are told many of these structures are left unfinished because the Menehunes only come out and night, and if they cannot complete the job in by sunrise they abandon it forever.
I thought about these strange beings after hearing several Hawaiian friends tell tales of them. Some say they'll run up and down tall palm trees in the courtyards of high-end Hotels in Honolulu and startle the guests. One told me their grandmother swears she saw them dancing around a fire on the beach. They looked all black with glowing red eyes. This captured my imagination. The idea came to me that if they are black like cooled Lava, with glowing red eyes maybe they are spirits made of Lava? So they are liquid lava during the day, flowing through the thousands of "lava tubes" that riddle the islands. At night they solidify into small rock humanoids with hot molten insides. This explains how they travel around the islands, through lava tubes, and where they disappear to during the day, again lava tubes. Being made of lava rock they must have powers to move the massive lava rock stones their structures are made of with ease.
The idea for the painting was born: I wanted to show the Menehunes climbing out of a lava tube as red-hot molten rock, and cooling off to take on the shapes of small rock tiki-creatures who enjoyed dancing before fires & Tikis.