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Brunka

This tribe from the South Pacific Coast of Costa Rica are a people with a very rich artistic heritage both historically and in the present day. The Boruca (or more traditionally, the Brunka) tribe of today are purported to be peoples of an amalgam of several chiefdoms whose territories covered, before the Spanish invasion of Costa Rica, lands and coastline from Quepos down to today’s border area with Panama, including the Osa Peninsula, Punta Burica and Isla de Caño.

Their descendants are credited for their spectacular work in gold and a gold/copper alloy called tumbaga, with a famed regional style of their own – the Diquís style. The Brunka are most likely the descendants of the creators of the renowned and mysterious stone spheres, the ‘Diquis’ spheres – unique among pre-Hispanic inhabitants of the Americas. Today the Brunka still excel in the arts. Brunka women, since pre-Hispanic times have been weavers of fine, naturally dyed cotton textiles that are made into well crafted woven products: bags, knapsacks, placemats, tablerunners, hats etc.

The piece de la resistence among Brunka arts is undoubtedly the ceremonial diablito balsa wood masks (also carved in tropical cedar). The diablito mask is a key element in their annual cultural event, La Danza de los Diablitos, which has been celebrated since time immemorial. Please ask us about the eco/ethno-tours that we coordinate with a native tourist group in Boruca village.