The Brunka tribe of Costa Rica are still creating masks – the underlying motifs remaining unchanged for centuries, but the craftsmanship is ever-evolving. This transformation mask was worn in the annual tribal ceremony: the Danza (Juego) de los Diablitos. This particular mask represents the culturally embedded notion of transformation (shape shifting) – here the vector is human to eagle (specifically the harpy eagle). This mask was 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 the natural realm, but also the realm of this tribe’s ancestral history (the human visage between the goldwork and the bird is a reference to their historic leaders). Carved from local balsa wood and adorned with feathers.
- Tribe: Brunka (Boruca)
- Size: 9 3/4″ x 18” (25 x 46 cm)
- Artist: H. Morales