The main level was filled with the special exhibits on the Vikings and Vodou in Haiti. The Viking exhibit told the story of the Norse raiders from their lives, ranging from home and traditions to mythology and burial rituals. Tiny symbols of their gods were scattered through everyday household items, jewelries, boats, and ceremonies. For women, running a household was an important and well respected role, and they would carry around their keys as a symbol of their status.
Across the main hall were the famous natural habitat dioramas, some dating back to the Great Depression. Any bird, reptile, amphibian, or mammal imaginable was represented in the winding hallways of the exhibits - some grouped with related species, others presented in the habitat dioramas. I was visiting the museum on a Thursday afternoon, so much of the exhibits were empty of other visitors. Standing in the dimly lighted maze of taxidermy gave me a strangely mixed feeling of awe and goosebumps - strangely fascinating, yet slightly scary.