The ‘Danza de los Diablitos’ ceremony of the Brunka tribe demonstrates the unbroken lineage connecting them back to their ancestors who first encountered the European invader in their midst sometime around the late 1560’s along the rivers and coasts of the southern Pacific coast watershed of present-day Costa Rica. The danza, or juego, is a re-enactment of the inevitable culture clash and fight for survival which occurred, and yet still occurs on certain levels, from first contact to present times.
This mask – scorched diablito – alludes to the burning that occurs in La Quema (‘the burning’) – the culminating moment of the 3 days of this venerable tribal tradition whereby the antagonist – Xaman the European invader – is immolated around a bonfire in the village. The ‘diablitos’ (the defending native population) too can catch fire! This mask was worn in this year’s Danza de los Diablitos of 2019-2020 in the village of Boruca.
- Tribe: Brunka (Boruca)
- Size: 9 1/2″ x 18” (23 x 46cm)
- Artist: Douglas Leiva