The Field Museum's 10 Hidden Gems
The Maori house
A little house high in the corner of the Traveling the Pacific exhibit means an awful lot to a faraway group of people. The Maori tribal people of New Zealand -- known for their tongue-wagging haka dance -- built this meetinghouse in 1881. It fell into disrepair; the Field Museum bought it in 1905, moved it to Chicago and reconstructed it in 1993. Today, it's one of the few Maori homes left in the world.
Maori descendants, some of whom have visited here, reverently say a home has a life of its own: The roof beam is the backbone, the rafters are ribs, the windows are eyes. When you look at this home that way, it takes on new meaning.