THE BORUCA GALLERY GIFTSHOP
Boruca Gallery Gift Shop is located at Pacific Edge Eco Retreat in Dominicalito, just south of Playa Dominical. The gift shop has grown thru its’ 28 years, having a wide collection of intricate hand-carved and finely painted masks/wall hangings. The Borucans have become very detailed relief carvers.
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Relief carvings have a flat back and the image carved in three dimensions, obtaining unbelievable depths, all from one piece of wood using either balsa or cedar. There are three distinct styles, diablo, ecological, or a combination of the two.
Each tells a specific story about Borucan culture representing the blending of the traditional and contemporary styles. The Gallery also carries many styles of hand-woven products made on the labor-intensive backstrap loom using only naturally dyed 100% cotton, such as placemats, runners, totes, yoga mat carriers, and beach bags.
Our Gallery works closely with the village, being one of the largest buyers; from 2015 – 2019, we have bought and sold 1700 masks and nearly 1200 woven products at a fair-trade price. However, come 2020, everything changed; the village went into complete lockdown.
The Borucans went back to living as they did in the past, living off the land and the crops they grow. They survived. The village has now reopened with precautions. At the beginning of 2021, Pacific Edge Eco Lodge acquired new owners Sid, Michaelynn, and Kaiya Vandiver. Michaelynn has carried on the passion for the Borucan artwork reopening the Gallery Gift Shop.
Having traveled to the village several times to meet the wonderful artists, the Gallery is once again a significant buyer and has grown by investing in new display cases that show off the hand-woven products and refreshed bamboo walls displaying the many masks.
Fair-trade pricing means that not only the Borucans get paid a reasonable price directly, and the buyer does not get charged an enormous mark-up. The Gallery wants to keep the money flow going into the Borucan village as 80% of their income is generated from their handcrafted products.
Our stock is constantly changing; there are always new products available. At any one time, there are 25 - 40 unique masks ranging in price from $18 to $225, along with all the beautiful woven goods priced at $10 - $110. Stop by The Gallery to learn about the local indigenous Borucan folklore and, of course, to meet the new owners and see all the refreshing improvements at Pacific Edge.
If possible, please text or call first to make sure someone is there to assist you.
T H E B O R U C A
G A L L E R Y G I F T S H O P
AUTHOR: SUSIE ATKINSON
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