Indigenous Boruca People Canoed More Than 40 Kilometers, Reviving Their Ancestral Traditions

Their Ancestors Habitually Performed That Same Aquatic Route to Exchange Products

Several indigenous people of Rey Curré organized a trip in boats from their community to Ciudad Cortés, to remember that custom that their ancestors habitually made on that same aquatic route to go to exchange products.

This adventure began on Friday, March 29th at 2:00 PM and ended on Saturday, March 30th, at 1:00 PM with 30 minutes at the Ciudad Cortés de Osa Berth, a route that covers about 40 kilometers over the waters of the Río Grande.

Prior to 1960, the old borucas joined other boatmen who came down from other towns such as Pilas, La Dragada, Térraba, Potrero Grande, Clavera, Guadalupe, Curré, Boruca, Puerto Lagarto, Cajon, Palmar de los Indios, among others, and together they traveled to El Pozo, now Ciudad Cortés. They had products that they sowed and also some animals, which were then changed by clothes, pots, work tools and other things that they did not produce. The boats were like carts and the river the road.

“Our grandparents often used this river as a means of communication to go there to the well to exchange products and reach the sea. There, on the beaches, they produced the salt they occupied; they also fished, hunted. In times of summer, they took a couple of trips to dye their cotton threads with a purple color that they extracted from the murice, the watery liquid of the snail. This effort made by this delegation is really a feat that pays tribute to our grandparents and great grandparents who have inherited an invaluable cultural legacy”, said Uriel Rojas, a descendant of this indigenous group.

“It was a very beautiful experience, of great strength, the river was very dry but it could be navigated in a good way. It was a beautiful experience to be able to relive those journeys made by our grandparents who traveled from Curré to the coast by the river, we hope it keeps repeating year after year so that it becomes a tradition”, said Mario Leiva, one of the crew that traveled in the sailing party.

In the comings and goings of these trips along the river, the natives named several places such as the Cucaracha, Puerto Lagarto, Dróv ri or Discipline, Callejón, Zapote, Canchén, Camaronal, Zapato, Iguana, among others. Most of these place names were named in the indigenous Boruca language.

The current navigators who make this trip are direct descendants of these Boruca ancestors who lived forever on the banks of the Grande de Térraba River. Upon arrival at the old berth, the delegation exchanged some artistic works in a symbolic way with the organizers who gave it an honorable welcome.

This crossing was coordinated within the framework of the 12th Cultural Festival of Canalete Ciudad Cortés 2019 and forms part of the intercultural alliance between the organizers of this activity and the indigenous community of Rey Curré.

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