Festival of spheres is the big show starting Friday in Osa

The big celebration this weekend is in the Municipalidad de Osa on the Pacific coast. The event is the three-day VII Festival de Esferas, named after those stone spheres that are found in the area.

Sponsors are the Museo Nacional, which maintains a museum for the spheres in the area, the Asociación de Desarrollo Integral de Palmar Sur and the municipality.

In addition to archaeology, biodiversity and tradition are being stressed. Those who happen to be there Saturday at 5:30 a.m. can participate in a bird-watching and plant tour.

Later that day, the Boruca of Rey Curré will present a taste of the Juego de los Diablitos, the traditional event held early in the year that pits the Spanish in the guise of a bull against the little
devils, representing the native peoples at the time of the conquistadores. That is at 1 p.m.

Events are being held starting at 9 a.m. Friday in both Palmar Norte and Sur. There also are events planned for Ciudad Cortés, Uvita and Sierpe. Friday the inauguration will be at 10 a.m. in Palmar Sur. There will be an artists fair and traditional foods all day with fireworks at 7 p.m. All the events are free.

In Palmar Norte Friday at the Universidad Estatal a la Distancia there are lectures on audio-visual production from 9 a.m. to 4p.m., one on medicinal plants at 10 a.m., cultural heritage at 2 p.m. and local bird life at 3:30 p.m. The last three are being presented by the Museo Nacional.

There are movies at 6 p.m. in Sierpe presented by the Asociación Cultural In Situ and the Centro Costarricense de Producción Cinematográfica.

Saturday, in addition to the 5:30 a.m. bird trek, the museum is presenting a program about the giant stone spheres and their relationship with the sun at Finca 6, the local museum site. There also are various workshops, including one at 10 a.m. for children on protecting the spheres.

A workshop on tree identification is at 2 p.m. in Palmar Sur.

Sunday begins with a parade around the Palmar Sur central park and a festival of bands at 10 a.m. At 2:30 p.m. the Circo Fantazztico from Pérez Zeledón performs.

During the weekend there are guided tours of the Finca 6, Bamtamal and the Río Sierpe mangroves.

The festival began in 2005 to inaugurate the new museum dedicated to the spheres and their possible significance. The event has grown since then and branched out into the environmental and biological as well as basic festival fun.

The stone spheres, of course were created by the pre-Columbian peoples in southwestern Costa Rica. They range in size from that of a baseball to more than six feet in diameter. They are attributed to the Diquis culture, but no one really knows for sure.

Compete schedules are available on the Museo Nacional Web site.

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