Do you want a unique souvenir of your trip to Costa Rica, something authentic that doesn’t have the ‘Made in China’ stamp on it? The perfect gifts would be the ones made by one of the eight indigenous groups of Costa Rica, the Borucans; they are our local indigenous people and live on the ridge top above the southern Costa Ballena area. The Borucans support themselves by their fine craftsmanship of woven and carved products, each of which is one of a kind.
The carved masks date back to the days of the Spanish conquistadors when the Borucans wore devil looking masks to defend their land from invasion. The masks are made from a light balsa wood or a harder cedar, hand painted and signed by the artist.
The woven products are all made on the back strap loom, which ties to the body of the weaver at the waist with the other end fixed to a post; therefore, the finished fabric can only be the width of their body. The weavings are of 100% cotton, and colored with exclusively natural dyes made from leaves, seeds, barks, and sea snails. They are used in the making of tote bags, table runners, and placemats.
A day trip to Boruca is doable as it is only 2-hours away (a 4-wheel drive vehicle is needed). You can also see a wide variety of the best-handcrafted items, which are sold at a fair-trade price at the Boruca Gallery Gift Shop, located at Pacific Edge Cabins in Dominicalito.
-By: Susie Atkinson