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Brunka Indigenous live up in the clouds

Filed in Adventures, Brunka Indigenous by on July 14, 2015 0 Comments • views: 3881

We have neighbors across the way near the coastal mountains that are the Brunka Indigenous and their village or “pueblo” is called Boruca. We work with a women’s group there from time to time and encourage people to visit the village to purchase some cool masks and handmade woven goods. All the weaving is expertly done and all dyes are natural. It is a wonderful place to go on an outing from Finca Lilo up into the clouds of the Boruca village. From Finca Lilo’s coastal mountain view we can determine where the Boruca village sits. On clear nights, we can see their flashing red light where their telecommunications towers reside.


From the home front at Finca Lilo, we have a great view of the coastal mountains. The arrow indicates exactly where Boruca Village is.


Up at the top near the Boruca village…magnificent mountain ranges all around! No wonder they call Costa Rica the little Switzerland of Central America.


More views at the top and heading into the village.


Such beauty in Boruca village…all this lovely vegetation!


Look for Marina she is an incredible artisan. Here she shows us how she makes a purple dye with a plant called Mata Azul. Azul means blue in Spanish but there are two types of Mata Azul. One dyes purple and the other blue. P1030440

Marina must work the plant vigorously to change the color in the water. The natural dye is turning from green to purple.


The finished natural dye product. Amazing!


Marina shows us how she makes yarn from cotton. The long metal stick has cotton on the end and Marina spins the stick that has cotton attached to it to make yarn out of the cotton. The ball of yarn is a different type of cotton that is a brownish color. It is a cotton tree in which Marina harvests her cotton from. The cotton trees either grow a beige or coffee/cream color. There are two types of cotton trees and they look nothing like cotton plants or cottonwood trees. Sometimes the women just use the natural cotton color of beige or brown in the craft design instead of hand dying a natural color into the cotton. Other than the Mata Azul dyes are made from turmeric, chili,  bark from trees, various leaves, fruits (mostly non edible berries),  etc.


Listo! The result of the hard work that Marina and the women she works with do to make beautiful bags, table runners, backpacks, beach bags, computer bags, coin purses, belts, pillow case covers, bedspreads etc.


A fabulous runner for your table… These crafts are incredibly beautiful!!! They are well made too. They will last for years and years. The best part? 100% sustainable all naturally grown…pura vida!!!!


The Brunka men are the artists for the masks. They paint them at night when the weather is even cooler than the tropical mountain climate they enjoy. Marina sells these masks in her “shop” for the artist men. They are exotic and a colorful way to brighten up a neutral colored wall. There are natural carved masks with out paint that are carved out of Spanish cedar, balsa or pejibaje wood. Wood used for the painted masks is balsa wood.

P1030455These mysterious round rocks can be found in several parts of the southern zone of Costa Rica. Some believe they date back to the Pre Colombia era. This sphere of a rock can be seen at the little Brunka museum. Marina’s shop is on the same side as the museum a few houses down the road.

Finca Lilo loves to promote and suggest guests pay a visit to  Boruca to explore and see the handcrafted souvenirs. Be sure to pick something up as a souvenir and for gifts here. You’ll appreciate the authenticity of your crafts and how beautiful and exotic they are when you go home . The trip and the experience make your purchase all the more special!


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About the Author ()

Jennifer Long-Jennifer has dedicated her entire career in helping others. She has worked and lived in other Latin American countries such as Mexico as a child and Bolivia for more than a decade of her adult life. Jennifer has worked as a coordinator to the SCIS school in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, an International school with the IGCSE curriculum from Cambridge, England. (International schools are private English speaking schools located around the world.) She has also worked in the United States with attorneys across the nation to assist many immigrants to attain residency, professional employment, and trade and investment visas in the United States. Jennifer has just finished filing her final immigration case in the United States. She has enjoyed a very rewarding career with both children and adults. She now heads the philanthropic endeavors for the people in the community of Biolley and works to counsel the community members, coffee producers and neighbors to collaborate and work together for the betterment of the community as a whole.

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