South Pacific Indigenous Culture, the Boruca and Terraba People

South Pacific Costa Rica Indigenous Culture - The Boruca and Terraba people

Boruca – Devils Festival 2013 – Costa Rica – Photo by Matthew Kirsch

The South Pacific of Costa Rica was once inhabited and ruled by indigenous tribes, mostly the Brunca indians, who are nowadays located in the villages of Boruca, Curré and Terraba.

Inspired by the knowledge of centuries of old tradition, Boruca people represent their inherent very creative expression through masks carved in balsa wood, and painted with vibrant colors and the weaving of colorful textiles. The threads for the material are generally dyed with leaves, roots and extracts from sea shells.

The masks are important elements in the annual Diablitos Dance celebrated in Boruca y Curré. The dance represents the resistance of the "Diablitos", representing the Boruca people, against the Spanish conquistadors.

Today indigenous peoples of Costa Rica strive to revitalize their indigenous culture and show it proudly to their communities visitors.

The experience of meeting these indigenous communities is unforgettable for tourists who visit them, observation of the work of the artists who carved masks, women weaving, presentation in theatrical form of traditions, mythologies and history of their native culture is something that is worth knowing.

If you visit the South Pacific of Costa Rica, we recommend include in your program a visit to indigenous communities, we assure you will very satisfied.

Sites with stone spheres of Valley Diquis in Osa, were declared World Heritage Site and it is here where you can see these expressions of art in a culture who lives in the South Pacific of Costa Rica for thousands of years. Remember to visit Batambal, Grijalba, the Stone Park and or the Museum at Finca 6 which are the world heritage sites .

Find articles about indigenous culture, art and the artists themselves with an attractive photo gallery, showing their very original crafts.

Read more articles about indigenous culture

Indigenous Culture

The Negritos Dance called “La Mura”

The Negritos Dance  ~ by Susie Atkinson A tradition in Boruca called “La Mura” Black slave trade was common in all the Spanish colonies. Around 1580 – 1600 Africans were imported into Costa Rica, and used as muleteers on the “mule road” from Cartago to Panama. Passing through the indigenous villages of Quepos, Boruca, and Terraba, they […]

Milking of the Murex snail

Milking of the Murex snail at Ventanas Beach

Milking of the Murex snail By Susie Atkinson  y Ellen Hoel The art of milking of the Murex snail has its origins in the 4th century B.C. Cleopatra used that procedure to dye in purple the sails of her boat with the intent of flattering Caesar. The gathering of those fluids is a practice that […]

How Do We Get To Boruca? South Pacific Costa Rica, indigenous culture

How Do We Get To Boruca? South Pacific Costa Rica, indigenous culture

How Do We Get To Boruca? Entrance to Boruca town by Dagmar Reinhard Throughout the year, but especially in December, there are many events and festivals in the village of Boruca. The directions below will take you straight to this beautiful village where you can experience a world of art, culture, and history. From San […]

YABASUJKRA - Osa, Uvita, Costa Ballena, Pacifico Sur - Ballena Tales


YABASUJKRA ~ by Kurandenk (Huella del Jaguar / The Jaguar’s footprint) People from Boruca have many beliefs, and the stories, legends, and myths are part of our lives.  Among such beliefs, there is the respect for nature. We know that water, air, and the forest have their owners. When our ancestors went out looking for wood, went […]

Chritophe Gstailder, Boruca, film,

Putting the Pieces Together with Christophe Gstalder

Having traveled the world, Christophe Gstalder always returns to Costa Ballena, a place that has captured his heart. He lived for several years with the Boruca Indians, near Palmar, and maintains close ties with community members.