Carved from balsa wood, painted and worn during the three days of this year’s annual ceremony – this evocative ancestor mask – ‘inner force‘ – truly transforms the wearer as one shall see looking at the accompanying context images. Featuring a traditional diablo mask with a calm, waiting jaguar lodged within this mask like latent energy waiting to be unleashed. Along the sides are featured other ‘power’ elements – a wound viper and on the opposite side a feather-crowned, ancetral war chief.
Ultimately, the theme of this tribal mask represents the diablito – the ‘pagan’ Native – a burlesque, on one level, of how the invading Europeans saw the indigenous people in the 16th and 17th centuries.
This mask was worn in the annual Danza de los Diablitos, one immediately notices the battle damage done to this mask that was in the “thick” of a rather rough interplay during the ceremony (serious ethnographic object collectors seem to love evidence of such ceremonial use). Galería Namu acquired it after the 2017-2018 ceremony had finished in the village of Boruca, Costa Rica. Ideal for collectors as unique carved wood traditional art.
- Tribe: Brunka (Boruca)
- Size: 18″ x 26” (46 x 66 cm)
- Artist: Jose Maroto