San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

‘Devil’s Dance’ Keeps Brunca Traditions Alive

Câgrú Rójc (“Devil’s Dance” in the Brunca language) takes place in the village of Rey Curré (Buenos Aires de Puntarenas in southern Costa Rica) every year and has been celebrated since early colonial times.
The festivities begin at midnight Jan. 31 and end Feb. 3.
The ritualistic battles occur between the bull, which represents the Spanish, and the dozens of little devils, which represent the Brunca tribe. Each day, the men of the villages go from house to house drinking chicha, a corn-based fermented drink, and eating the tamales offered them by the community.
On the last day, the devils “kill” and burn the bull to symbolize the triumph of the indigenous people over the Spanish and also to protest against any act that violates Brunca culture.
Câgrú Rójc is a way for the people of Rey Curré to preserve their ancestral and world philosophies enabling them to renew their energies and survive as a tribe, true to their identity even in current times.

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