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Shop » Indigenous Arts » Cabécar Crafts

Cabécar Crafts

Cabécar crafts are made by one of the Cabécar tribes, the largest of Costa Rica’s eight indigenous tribes who live in a remote mountainous area known as Chirrípo. The women of the tribe have primarily been engaged in making these whimsical stuffed bark animals and framed pictorials out of their traditional cloth called mastate (fiber cloth from bark). This art form had to be relearned; for several decades its use had been in decline. Now, with this little enterprise, thanks to an initiative spearheaded by the Costa Rica Humanitarian Foundation, families are able to better feed their children, acquire better health care and provide basic schooling. Just as importantly, this endeavor has brought back to life many of the Cabécar myths and legends. Know that with your purchase of these bark animal collections (and primitive framed pictorials), you are helping to encourage the Cabécares in their quest for self-sufficiency and improvement of their lives.