What Is Ruatepupuke II?


Exterior view of Marae Ruatepupuke II(© The Field Museum)

The Field Museum of Chicago has the privilege and honor of caring for Ruatepupuke II, a traditional Maori meeting house. The house was originally built in Tokomaru Bay, New Zealand in 1881 before being transported to its current location. Due to it being one of the few meeting houses located outside of New Zealand, Ruatepupuke II has encouraged ongoing communication between the Museum and Tokomaru Bay.

Additionally, as one gratifying outcome of the lengthy partnership between The Field Museum and the people of Tokomaru Bay, this whare also now serves as a national “flag ship” for many throughout New Zealand, Maori and pakeha (non-Maori) alike, both as a striking heritage symbol of their cultural pride and values in a distant and foreign land, and also as an innovative urban marae (gathering place) for communicating those values and sensibilities overseas in an unconventional and vibrant multicultural setting.