Local Communities: Art & Culture of Costa Rica Indigenous People
Costa Rica Indigenous Arts and Crafts
When Columbus arrived, there were an estimated 20,000 natives in Costa Rica. Since the Spanish came, that number has dramatically declined. Indigenous people comprise an estimated 1.7% of the country’s total population. These groups—like the Bribri, Buruca, and Maleku, to name a few—constantly struggle to keep their culture and language alive as the modern world encroaches on their territory. They can pass their traditions to younger generations through arts and crafts and rituals.
Making local crafts is one of the few profitable economic activities Costa Rican indigenous tribes pursue. This ancestral heritage is more than just a manner to provide income. It’s a tradition passed on from generation to generation, teaching about symbolism and encouraging the tribes and other interested people how to preserve indigenous culture.