boruca diablito masks

boruca diablito mask

Feeling uneasy about them may serve as a reminder of how ingrained the Judeo-Christian view of good versus bad is in our Western culture. Because of this, the importance of these masks for the Borucan people may be nearly impossible for us to grasp.

For Borucans, these masks symbolize protective nature spirits. Masks have a special place in their hearts because they saved the very existence of their ancestors and culture. Today, their masks are instrumental in helping the indigenous community protect their culture and identity. The “traditional” diablito masks and fierce jaguars are probably their most recognized icons. Borucans are very proud of their masks, mask art, and, of course, their “juego de los diablitos.”

The Spanish labeled the defending warriors “diablitos,” or little devils, which was a concept foreign to Native Americans of that time (their cosmo-vision was very different). Ironically, the superstitious European invaders were the ones committing the atrocities.