Chicago's Marae

The City of Chicago is fortunate in having a large antique building from the South Pacific on display in The Field Museum—the meeting house named “Ruatepupuke II” from Aotearoa (New Zealand) that dates back to 1881.

There are only three such large and complete 19th century Maori meeting houses outside their country of origin.   Of these, the wharenui (literally, “large house”) in Chicago is arguably the finest.

While impressive in its own right as an architectural achievement (its many carvings attest to this), most impressive is what this whare nui stands for.  Or rather, stands on.

Ruatepupuke II is not only The Field Museum’s Maori meeting house, but also The City of Chicago’s marae (sacred meeting ground).

Vision Statement, April 2007