Dance of the little devils: Costa Rican tribesmen in spectacular costumes re-enact battle between their ancestors and Spanish conquistadors Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-3382683/Costa-Rica-s-Boruca-tribe-enacts-resistance-against-Spanish-conquerors.html#ixzz3wNu7VBG8 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Dance of the little devils: Costa Rican tribesmen in spectacular costumes re-enact battle between their ancestors and Spanish conquistadors Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-3382683/Costa-Rica-s-Boruca-tribe-enacts-resistance-against-Spanish-conquerors.html#ixzz3wNu7VBG8 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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By CHRIS KITCHING

 

A Costa Rican indigenous tribe’s resistance against Spanish conquerors some 500 years ago has been re-enacted in a colourful festival featuring menacing wooden masks and a man dressed as a bull.

Every year, Boruca tribesmen paint themselves and don the hand-carved masks before chasing the ‘bull’, which represents the Spanish, through the streets at the colourful El Juego de los Diablitos (Dance of the Little Devils) ritual.

Held over the New Year, the men represent devils in one of the most important traditional festivals in Boruca culture.

 Bruca men wearing masks chase a 'bull' through the streets as part of the El Juego de los Diablitos (Dance of the Little Devils) festival

 Bruca men wearing masks chase a ‘bull’ through the streets as part of the El Juego de los Diablitos (Dance of the Little Devils) festival

The masked tribesmen represent the 'little devils' while the man wearing the bull costume represents the Spanish conquerors

The masked tribesmen represent the ‘little devils’ while the man wearing the bull costume represents the Spanish conquerors

The wooden masks worn during the festival are carved by members of the tribe and usually depict scary faces or birds or animals 

The wooden masks worn during the festival are carved by members of the tribe and usually depict scary faces or birds or animals

Boruca men wearing carved masks relax during festivities. The festival is held over four days and coincides with the start of the new year

Boruca men wearing carved masks relax during festivities. The festival is held over four days and coincides with the start of the new year

The El Juego de los Diablitos (Dance of the Little Devils) is one of the most important traditional festivals in Boruca culture

The El Juego de los Diablitos (Dance of the Little Devils) is one of the most important traditional festivals in Boruca culture

The event starts at midnight on December 30th and ends on the 2nd January every year in the indigenous community in Costa Rica

The event starts at midnight on December 30th and ends on the 2nd January every year in the indigenous community in Costa Rica

The centuries-old festival starts at midnight on 30 December and ends on 2 January at an indigenous settlement in the Pacific coast province of Puntarenas.

About 2,500 people live on the reserve, which is set among the Talamanca Mountains about 12 miles from the Costa Rica-Panama border.

The festival celebrates the fact that Boruca culture and traditions remain intact after Costa Rica was colonised by the Spanish, who called tribe members ‘little devils’.

Spanish is the dominant language within the tribe today and many members identify as Roman Catholic after the religion was introduced by the Spanish in the 1500s.

 About 2,500 people live on the reserve, which is set among the Talamanca Mountains about 12 miles from the Costa Rica-Panama border

 About 2,500 people live on the reserve, which is set among the Talamanca Mountains about 12 miles from the Costa Rica-Panama border

The festival celebrates the fact that Boruca culture and traditions remain intact after Costa Rica was colonised by the Spanish

The festival celebrates the fact that Boruca culture and traditions remain intact after Costa Rica was colonised by the Spanish

Spanish is the dominant language within the tribe and many identify as Roman Catholic after the religion was introduced by the Spanish

Spanish is the dominant language within the tribe and many identify as Roman Catholic after the religion was introduced by the Spanish

Beliefs in Boruca legends and a god named Sibu that existed before the Spanish arrived have not been completely abandoned

Beliefs in Boruca legends and a god named Sibu that existed before the Spanish arrived have not been completely abandoned

Mask-making has become an important part of the tribe’s survival, with its handmade crafts being sold in shops across the country

However, beliefs in Boruca legends and a god named Sibu that existed before the Spanish arrived have not been completely abandoned.

The elaborately carved devil masks are usually one of two different types – diablo or ecological.

Diablo masks depict scary faces while ecological masks depict birds or animals.

Mask-making has become an important part of the tribe’s survival, with its handmade crafts being sold in tourist shops across the country.

Throughout the four-day festival, tribesmen usually wear masks that fall within one of two categories - diablo or ecological

Throughout the four-day festival, tribesmen usually wear masks that fall within one of two categories – diablo or ecological

With countless hours of work spent on each one, diablo masks depict scary faces while ecological masks depict birds or animals

With countless hours of work spent on each one, diablo masks depict scary faces while ecological masks depict birds or animals

The Boruca tribe has the right to self-governance and is located on a reserve with about 54 square miles of protected land

The Boruca tribe has the right to self-governance and is located on a reserve with about 54 square miles of protected land

 

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