By Cristhian González Gómez
The Boruca Little Devils’Gam is a ceremony, which takes place between December 30 and January 2, originally named Cagbrúˇ rójc (1) in Brunca language, and known as “The little devils’ game” outside of Boruca Territory, is about the struggle of native Borucas against the Europeans (Síˇcua rójc) during colonial times. In a dramatic way, and with processions or walks around the community where the characters wear masks, people reenact the violent encounters between the Borucas and the Spanish invaders, represented by a mock bull (Samán) (2) . For the Borucas, these dates are highly expected, since they consider this celebration one of their most representative ancient cultural expressions.
Its importance brings together both native Costa Rican indigenous people and non-indigenous citizens, besides other visitors from abroad. This is how they reinforce their pride for their identity, and their motivation to protect the legacy that their ancestors have trusted us with. It’s fundamental to take into account that, every day, the Indigenous Peoples clash with transculturation and adversities that endanger their traditions.
Regarding their economy, the Boruca Little Devils’Gam allows various organized and touristic groups to interact, and they have a very positive participation in the community’s progress. Boruca artists embellish this activity with their masks and costumes, and prepare the staging for the walks around the area. The preparations for this party begin several months before.
During the three days, Boruca creates an environment of cultural enjoyment, family coexistence, and a warm welcome for tourists, surrounded by traditional music and a pleasant atmosphere
(1) “Diablitos”in English (2) “Toro” in English