This mask – were-jaguar– alludes to the transformed durij (shaman) into his alter-ego, the mighty jaguar, punisher of those who break tribal taboo. This design – the diablito – in the ‘choreography’ of the juego, represents the Brunka people of the southern Pacific Coast watershed of Costa Rica for this venerable, annually celebrated tribal ceremony.
This mask – worn in more than one season’s ceremony – is hand carved in the neo-tropical balsa wood, painted and worn during the 3 days of the danza in Costa Rica’s Boruca village in the Danza de los Diablitos.
The Brunka have been carving such masks going back centuries, the faces of which are, at times, frightening, simply grotesque, animal naguals, or infra-human – representing how the non-Christian natives repulsed many of the European newcomers intent on controlling and taming los indios (indians).
Note: valuable context images of this mask being worn in the 2017-18 danza available.
- Tribe: Brunka (Boruca)
- Size: 10 1/2″ x 19″ (27 x 48.25 cm)
- Artist: A. Maroto Elizondo