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Updates from Our Artists and Team

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Written by The Lucuma Team
Arpillera Artist Silvia

As an international fair trade company, we’re concerned about all the lives that Covid-19 is impacting. Like we all know, the virus is changing every aspect of life and work, but fortunately, so far, our employees and artists in Peru and Costa Rica remain healthy and all our team members are working remotely. Alessandra and I are in Peru, we were here when the borders closed. For now we need to stay put and are able to oversee our aide efforts here. We are using this time to strategize and use our creativity to do what we can right now.

Why Scary Masks?

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Written by The Lucuma Team
boruca diablito mask

For Borucans, these masks symbolize protective nature spirits. Masks have a special place in their hearts because they saved the very existence of their ancestors and culture.

Melvin Gonzalez Rojas, Borucan artist

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Written by The Lucuma Team
rainforest mask artist

As an accomplished and recognized Borucan artist, Melvin likes to challenge himself. Over the past few years he has transitioned to painting more often on canvas than on balsa wood.

Modern Masks

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Written by The Lucuma Team
boruca rainforest mask

For Borucans, these masks symbolize protective nature spirits. Masks have a special place in their hearts because they saved the very existence of their ancestors and culture.

Rudy Gomez, Borucan artist

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Written by The Lucuma Team
Rudy Boruca mask carver


Rudy is one of the youngest fine-carving artists. He eagerly learns new carving tricks. Most often, a mask artist will bring him a balsa wood log with a design drawn on it for him to carve. In return the artist will paint one of his masks.

Sugey Jimenez Acosta, Borucan artist

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Written by The Lucuma Team
Sugey Boruca mask painter

Sugey started playing with paint brushes at a young age inspired by her godmother. After marrying Marcos in 2005, she easily picked up new techniques from him while falling in love with mask painting. Orchids are her specialty as she enjoys replicating different varieties with intricate details.

Women and Boruca Masks

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Written by The Lucuma Team
emerging female artists


Traditionally, and for generations, mask making has been a male dominated activity. Only very recently, some women in Boruca have become interested in painting masks but it is still rare to see one carving.

Ismael González Rojas, Borucan artist

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Written by The Lucuma Team
Ismael Boruca mask carver

Ismael started carving at a young age and is one of the few artists in Boruca still working with cedar wood.

Loly, Maria De Los Santos, Borucan artist

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Written by The Lucuma Team
rainforest mask artist


Loly dries and boils the jicara fruit for hours to cure and clean it. Then she envisions her animal, carving the legs, head and tail in balsa wood. Her grandson works alongside her, adding the color.

Selby Gardens Rainforest Mask Painting Class: Educational and Enchanting!

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Written by The Lucuma Team
Marcos teaching mask painting

The Rainforest Mask exhibit at Selby Gardens in Sarasota, FL offered so many opportunities to learn more about the beauty of Borucan culture. During the first week of the exhibit, three team members of Lucuma Designs took the opportunity to have their hands at mask painting. What did they think of the experience?

Boruca Artists Winners Selby 2019

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Written by The Lucuma Team
Boruca mask winners

During the three-week-long Rainforest Mask exhibit at Selby Gardens, hundreds of guests took the opportunity to vote for their favorite mask, artist, and carver. The mask artists made it quite difficult to choose, thanks to their talent, dedication, and immense effort this year.

German Morales Delgado, Borucan artist

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Written by The Lucuma Team
Boruca mask carver

German has taught a few other mask carvers over the years, after learning his skills through his brother in 1998. He proudly works with his fellow carvers in Taller Brún̈crin̈.

Rosa Rojas Morales, Borucan artist

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Written by The Lucuma Team
Mask artist Rosa

Rosa, one of the few women artists in Boruca, enjoys working with others, as she loves trading ideas and inspiration with other artists

Emilio Granda Obando, Borucan artist

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Written by The Lucuma Team
Emelio Boruca mask carver

Emilio proudly creates his masks at Taller Brún̈crin̈ and has spent many years refining his art.

Boruca Timeline

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Written by The Lucuma Team
boruca mask history

The Boruca people have suffered to maintain their beautiful culture and art. Through these hardships, they were able to blossom and learn from their trials and tribulations.

Juego de los Diablitos

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Written by The Lucuma Team
boruca diablito mask

For Borucans, these masks symbolize protective nature spirits. Masks have a special place in their hearts because they saved the very existence of their ancestors and culture.

Bernardo Gonzalez Maroto, Borucan artist

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Written by The Lucuma Team
mask artist Bernardo

Bernardo is a prolific artist, who is often in high demand in his village. He sometimes carves his own pieces, but mostly spends his time collaborating with other artists

Luis Miguel Rojas Morales, Borucan artist

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Written by The Lucuma Team
boruca mask artist

Luis Miguel has a great passion for the Boruca masks and tradition, and he hopes to further improve his technique and painting skills.

Francisco Rojas Morales, Borucan artist

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Written by The Lucuma Team
mask artist Francisco

Francisco is one of the most accomplished painters. He treats his masks like white, 3-D canvases, in which colors flow naturally without any pre-planning.

Neftali Rojas Morales, Borucan artist

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Written by The Lucuma Team
boruca mask artist

Neftali has become an accomplished painter, and the sophistication in this year’s work stands out and has reached a new level!

Domingo Rojas Morales, Borucan artist

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Written by The Lucuma Team
Domingo, Boruca Mask artist

Domingo’s work has a distinctive and uplifting boldness.

Esteban Morales Lazaro, Borucan artist

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Written by The Lucuma Team
Boruca mask artist

Esteban enjoys envisioning and designing his own pieces and collaborates with several painters to make them really pop.

Marcos Rojas Morales, Borucan artist

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Written by The Lucuma Team
Marcos Boruca Mask Artist

Marcos is a master Borucan artist, equipped with a bold imagination, years of carving experience, and exceptional painting skills.

Manuel Rojas Morales, Borucan artist

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Written by The Lucuma Team
Boruca mask artist

After plenty of hard work, Jose Manuel has improved his art immensely--he is now much more satisfied with his finished products.

Omer Morales Delgado, Borucan artist

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Written by The Lucuma Team
rainforest mask artist

Omer loves carving and has plans to create smaller pieces such as necklaces and other jewelry in his free time.

Marlon and Francisco create a flamingo mask

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Written by The Lucuma Team
knitted finger puppet video


These intricate, magical Boruca masks have made such a positive impact on the Boruca village. But what goes into bringing these pieces to life? Watch as master carver Marlon and professional painter Francisco as they create a fantastic flamingo mask.

Rainforest Masks at Selby Gardens in January 2019

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Written by The Lucuma Team
knitted finger puppet video

Get lost in tropical Costa Rica and wander through the Rainforest Mask sale and exhibit at Selby Gardens. The masks return for the 15th consecutive year to enchant locals and art enthusiasts with over 300 original pieces by indigenous Borucan artists.

Costa Rica Travel Log

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Written by The Lucuma Team
organic cotton finger puppets

Follow along with Don and Alessandra's trip to visit with the Boruca Mask artists in Costa Rica. Come back fo updates throughout the journey.

Boruca's Mask Making Tradition

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Written by The Lucuma Team
Boruca Mask History

Boruca's mask tradition started in the 1500s when they used masks depicting animals or nature spirits were used to scare the Spanish, who then called the natives “diablitos” or little devils.

2018 Boruca Mask Show

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Written by The Lucuma Team
2018 Boruca Mask Show

The 14th annual Borucan mask show at Sarasota's Marie Selby Botanical Gardens concluded last week. This is the second year that Lucuma Designs has taken part in this exclusive annual gallery show for the Borucan Masks. The show featured more than 300 hand carved and painted art pieces created by a group of 19 artists from Boruca, Costa Rica.

Boruca Mask Show

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Written by The Lucuma Team
Boruca Mask Show

Lucuma has developed a new relationship with a group of top artists from the Boruca tribe of Costa Rica. Their vibrant balsa wood sculptures blend ancestral traditions and ecological sensibility with a modern twist. These hand crafted works of art were recently on display at our local Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

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