boruca mask artist neftali

boruca mask with frogs

“Unlike others who started very young, I was older when I started to carve. My first mask turned out so pretty that I fell in love with mask making. Soon after that, I started also painting them and making my own designs.”

Neftali has become an accomplished painter, and the sophistication in this year’s work stands out and has reached a new level! He has been a visiting artist at Selby for eight years, which has offered him extra insight and broadened his artistic horizon. As a child, Neftali loved to paint, but had to leave school early to work on his father’s farm. He is the oldest of 11 siblings, and most of them are also artists in this exhibit. In 1998, after seeing the beauty of Francisco’s masks and the opportunity they provided, he began studying mask-making under him. With his masks, he hopes more people will learn about his village, culture, and traditions.