Hand carved from local balsa wood, and painted. In essence, this mask plays the role of the ancestral spirit of death assuming this role 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 2016-2017 in the village of Boruca). A figurative mask, the imagery speaks of themes of mortality: the king vulture, skull and gold funerary trappings for the deceased elite.
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.