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The entire South Pacific of Costa Rica was inhabited and governed by indigenous tribes, mostly the Brunca Indians, who today inhabit the towns of Boruca, Curré and Térraba.

The Boruca are an indigenous tribe of the southern Pacific of Costa Rica, located in the Talamanca Mountains 20 km from the Republic of Panama. It is estimated that about 2,000 people live in the Boruca tribe in an area considered an indigenous reserve, where about 140Km² of land is protected for their benefit and use. According to Costa Rican law, tribes in the reserve, such as the Boruca, have the right to self-govern.

The Boruca (also called Brunca, Brunka or Borunca) are indigenous people of Costa Rica who are proud of their culture. Their amazing handmade wooden masks are so popular that imitations can be purchased throughout this Central American nation. But the Boruca culture is more than just masks. Boruca culture is based on the faith they have in the wisdom of the village elders and the Boruca legends that have been kept alive orally for centuries. The Boruca identity reflects a deep respect for the stories told, the nature that surrounds them and the community they share.

Masks are important elements in the annual Danza de los Diablitos (Dance of the Little Devils) celebrated in Boruca and Curré. The dance represents, in the Boruca indigenous culture, the resistance of the “diablitos”, (the people of Boruca) against the Spanish conquerors.

Inspired by the knowledge of centuries of tradition, they represent their inherent creative expression through masks carved from balsa wood, painted with vibrant colors and the weaving of textiles in vivid colors. The yarns for the material are usually dyed with leaves, roots and sea shell extracts.

The experience of getting to know these indigenous peoples is unique for tourists who visit them, observing the work of the artists who carve the masks, the women who weave, the theatrical presentation of the traditions, mythologies and history of their indigenous culture is something worth knowing.

If you visit the South Pacific of Costa Rica, we recommend you to include in your program a visit to the indigenous communities, we assure you that you will be very satisfied.

Taken from Ballena Tales & www.boruca.org

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