This past weekend, April 13-15, the Osa, Palmar, and Bahia Uvita regions celebrated the 8th annual Festival of the Stone Spheres.
The free, three day festival aimed to promote cultural literacy about our mysterious stone spheres.
At the highest point on Isla del Caño, there is a pre-Columbian cemetery of the Boruca people. Two spheres covered with moss sit under the forest canopy and are believed to have been brought to Caño by canoe and rolled to the cemetery.Thousands of spheres like these have been found all over southern Costa Rica, as well as northern Panama.The origins and significance of these spheres still remains a mystery, but it is speculated that they were made in villages on the Osa Peninsula near Palmar Norte.The stone spheres vary in size, some are as small as a piece of fruit, while others are over 2 m (6 ft) in diameter!Costa Rica is interested in finding a talented researcher who will one day decipher the precise reason that the stones were made.
The festival highlighted the amazing biodiversity of the Osa Peninsula. There were workshops on digital photography and video recording, medicinal plants, protecting cultural heritage, and birdwatching in the region.
Bird and plant life tours were guided by specialists from the National Museum and budding astronomers were able to get a chance to wake up extra early and watch the sunrise as it aligned with the spheres. One of the theories behind our man-made petrospheres is that they served as instruments of celestial observation, which makes sense since the Bribri people are considered to be the earliest astronomers in the Americas.
Other activities included workshops for children, face painting, handcrafts, ethnic cuisine, mangrove tours, dance exhibitions, indigenous culture, mangrove tours, film screenings, parades, and even a traveling circus from Perez Zeledon.
We look forward to next years Festival of the Stone Spheres!