Story: Whakairo – Māori carving

Ruatepupuke II meeting house

Ruatepupuke II meeting house

Ruatepupuke II is the only whare whakairo (carved meeting house) in the United States, and one of only three outside New Zealand. It was built in 1880–81 in Tokomaru Bay, replacing an earlier house of the same name, which was dismantled in 1828 to protect it from warring tribes, and never re-assembled. By the early 1890s Ruatepupuke II was in disrepair, and was eventually sold to the Field Museum of anthropology in Chicago. A century later a team headed by Ngāti Porou experts restored Ruatepupuke II as a living meeting house and marae. It is now regularly used by Chicago First Nations (native American) people. 

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How to cite this page:

Brett Graham, 'Whakairo – Māori carving - Legendary origins of carving', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 May 2022)

Story by Brett Graham, published 22 Oct 2014