This particular decorative wall mask is an elegant homage to the natural state of much of the territory of the Brunka people.
These very elaborate and almost narrative ‘ecological-cultural masks’ are an evolution emerging from the traditional Brunka ceremonial masks in their annual ceremony, Danza de los Diablitos. Using the same wood species (balsa wood and tropical cedar) used for the worn masks, these unique primitive art pieces are reminiscent of story boards allowing the mask artists to render scenes of the landscapes, flora and fauna of the Brunka tribe’s territory, as well as scenes from their native legends, cosmology and Pre-Columbian past.
Seen here in Hurtado’s delicate composition are local bird species – keel billed toucan, motmot, and toucanet – plus a wild orchid blossom. The deep rainforst light captured in the background is simply sublime. As per tribal format for these Brunka “eco/cultural-masks”, the ever-present ancestral spirit is central pervading the landscape.