Tropical Hardwood Simian Mask
The Brunka tribe of Costa Rica are still creating ceremonial masks – the underlying motifs remaining unchanged for centuries, but the craftsmanship is ever-evolving. This rough-hewn simian mask was worn in the annual Brunka tribal ceremony: the Danza (Juego) de los Diablitos. This particular mask represents the culturally embedded notion of transformation (shape shifting) and one’s nagual (alter ego).
Worn during this venerable three day event harassing/battling xamán (the toro, or bull = European invader-settler), this mask has a strong presence with clear references to a simian-type being. Carved from a lustrous local hardwood called ronron – the mask maker took full advantage of this old tree trunk’s stressed features.
- Tribe: Brunka (Boruca)
- Size: 81/2″ x 12 1/4” (21.5 x 31.25 cm)
- Artist: Gonzalez family