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Sarasota News Leader March 22, 2013 Page 75 THE ARTISTS more,��� he wrote. ���This change is reflected in each of the families that survives based on Two of the Borucan artists who produced this activity.��� some of the masks on display at Selby Gardens this year made their way to Sarasota in The masks were worn in traditional Borucan time for the opening reception. They were ceremonies for centuries before they were available for attendees��� questions, often with adapted to ward off Spanish conquistadors. The Borucans later started using them as part the help of a Spanish translator. of an annual festival to commemorate that One of the artists, Pedro Rojas Morales, has resistance, known as Juego de los Diablitos, visited Sarasota for each exhibition since the or Play of the Little Devils. Though the traprogram���s inception. He told The Sarasota dition of producing the wooden masks was News Leader in an interview he is always ex- almost lost in the 1970s ��� when they began cited to come to Sarasota because he is al- to be replaced by paper masks ��� a village elways bringing something new and improved der named Ismael Gonzales Rojas Sr. helped with him: designs, styles and more detailed preserve the art by passing it on to younger paint compositions. members of the community. In a translated follow-up email interview on March 12, Rojas Morales went into more detail with the News Leader about how selling the masks has changed life in the Borucan community. ���The economic conditions of the families have improved ��� they can obtain better quality food, clothing, education and In the same email, Rojas Morales explained how the Borucan masks have evolved since the tradition was reinvigorated: ���For almost 25 years we���ve given them a new connotation, utilizing paint and implementing new designs,��� he wrote, ���which awoke the interest of collectors and people from other countries.��� A set of unfinished Borucan masks made from balsa wood is on display during the Rainforest Masks of Costa Rica exhibition reception. The mask on the left has been carved, but not painted; the mask on the right has been designed, but not carved.

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