Orchids and the Boruca Mask Maker
I don’t know that much about orchids, beyond my admiration for them, and the fact that I can never get them to bloom for me after the first time. However, I understand someone having a passion for them. Every year I admire the orchids at the Northwest Flower & garden Show, but this time I was stopped in my tracks at the Northwest Orchid Society’s display garden, “Masked Perfection — Are Orchids the Perfect Mask?” Amongst the vast array of potted orchids showing off all the colors of the rainbow, were equally colorful Boruca Masks.
Even more intriguing, artisan Pedro Rojas Morales demonstrating the art of carving the multi-colored masks on display. He did not speak English; however, his hands spoke a language everyone could understand—art. From the indigenous Costa Rican tribe Boruca (also called Brunka or Brunca), he adeptly carves masks out of balsa wood or cedar, a long time tradition of his culture.
In this garden display, the mask is used as a metaphor to the orchid, which nature created “…through color, shape and aroma to attract the one significant insect or animal…”
I will let the following photos complete the story.