The bull and the little devils are ready to have another encounter

The end of January means that the Diablitos and the Toro will have another four-day contest in Rey Curré.

This is the traditional  Juego de los Diablitos that portrays the native encounter with the Spanish. In this version the natives or Diablitos win.

The Boruca Rey Curré community once again has invited the public to the event Jan. 28 to 31. The ancient traditions, the not-so-ancient juego, native foods and healthy doses of chicha mix in this fiesta.

The location is on the Interamericana Sur 32 kilometers south of Buenos Aires de Puntarenas. Francisco Corrales, the Museo Nacional anthropologist, calls the event one of the strongest expressions of the Boruca identity.

The Spanish were not known to be gentle colonizers, so the artistic encounter of the juego must stem from a more brutal actual event.

The juego begins Thursday night, Jan. 28, when the  Diablo Mayor sounds the horn from one of the nearby hills. This signifies that the Diablitos have been born. They wear the traditional Boruca masks and banana leaf garb.

For the next three days, the toro appears and vanquishes the Diablitos. But they magically resurrect and slay the bull. All takes place within the structure of dances.

The Borucas may be the descendants of those who made the iconic stone balls that also can be found on the southern Pacific coast near the Río Grande de Térraba

The event is being put on by the Comisión Organizadora Juego de los Diablitos 2016. There are about 600 residents of Rey Curré, and the Boruca language still is spoken.

Diablitos fight with the figure called a toro.

Diablitos fight with the figure called a toro.

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