Hand carved from local balsa wood, and painted in different earth tones to be a back drop to this particular mask’s theme. In essence, this mask plays the role of the ancestral ‘spirit’ of pottery making in the exclusive tribal ceremonial society of the Non Kuanxá – a select group of men who, through their masks and vestment/jewellry, represent ancestral spirits, historic leaders as well as the spirits of natural elements and animals important to Brunka cosmology and legend.
Worn in this highly animated and, at times, violent traditional event: Danza/Juego de los Diablitos (of 2015-2016 in the village of Boruca). A winged mask, the imagery around the edges of the piece are allusions to pottery vessels and additionally, a curious piece came tied to this mask: a diminutive real pottery tripod vessel.
The Brunka depict themselves through such personages known through the diablito masks, as this one is, in a wonderful exploration of the sophisticated carving aesthetic of today, plus the mysterious expressions of these visages started by their mask making predecessors.
Valuable photo context accompanies this mask.