The Tun-Si never appear in any movies, nor are they ever mentioned in dialog or props. However, they do appear in two pieces of movie-related material: the Masrani Global website and Jurassic Park: The Game. What follows is an amalgamation of the information given in both media.
In real-life, the Bribri people live in the mountains and Caribbean coastal areas of Costa Rica and northern Panama. It is unknown what motivated the ancestors of the Tun-Si to migrate to Isla Nublar, an island 190 km off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.
This is one of the plausible scenarios. While agriculture is the main activity of the Bribri, this tribe switched to fishery and became a seafaring tribe. This might have been the moment the tribe adopted the name "Tun-Si", meaning "Water Men" in the Bribri language. During the fishing voyages the fishermen spotted the Isle of Nublar, which they call Guá-Si (meaning "Water House", or, "House beyond Water"). This "house" could be a reference to Mount Sibo (see below). In time, the tribe started frequenting the island and eventually settled on it. It is unknown if they also settled other islands of the Muertes Archipelago.
The tribe lived in peace on the island. Nonetheless, from the sixteenth century onward, many of the Tun-Si had to leave the island. Their presence on the island was terminated in the 1980s by the InGen corporation. InGen was searching for a tropical island to build a dinosaur zoo; and Isla Nublar met the requirements.
The Costa Rican government was willing to lease the island to InGen. At the time, the tribe was led by their shaman or Awa. The Awa did the government's bidding and helped advertising the island. InGen demanded that the entire tribe should leave the island. In return, InGen promised to provide homes, education and medication for the displaced islanders.
Not all the tribesmen left the island willingly. Around 1981 InGen had to hire mercenaries (including Oscar Morales) to force the tribesmen (including Nima Cruz) off the island at gunpoint. The last few remaining were resettled off the island in 1987.
Instead of resettling among their Bribri kin in Costa Rica's rural area's, the Tun-Si settled in the houses that InGen had build for them. These houses turned out to be located in the slums, the schools had no teachers and the health care was of bad quality. The Awa did not follow their ancient traditions and fell into depression.
One of the Tun-Si, Nima Cruz, gained access to a large amount of money in 1993. The effect of this on the entire tribe is unknown. It is unknown if the Tun-Si tried to return to the island after InGen abandoned it.
The Masrani Global Corporation leased the island from 2002 onward. The corporation's website states that they "wish to acknowledge the indigenous Bribri tribe and the contributions they have made to the history and culture of Isla Nublar."
An interview with Jake Johnson revealed that Lowery did not live in the residential area for the employees, but with a group of natives on the island. This possibly confirms that the Tun-Si people are living on Isla Nublar in a reservation somewhere on Isla Nublar.
Culture and Spirituality
The Tun-Si people considered the volcanic mountain in the north of Isla Nublar, Mount Sibo, to be sacred. It looked very similar to a traditional Bribri house (at least as of 1993; in depictions from 2015 it is portrayed as a volcano with an open crater, suggesting that it erupted between 1993 and the reclaiming of Isla Nublar). Conical houses, and by extension Mount Sibo, represented the universe with multiple layers supported by different animals. In Tun-Si belief the mountain itself was built by the animals of the world. The first layer of the conical house, and probably Mount Sibo, represents the plane where humans live. The second is for the animals, and the helpers of Sibo. The third level is where most evil spirits are held, and the fourth and final level is inhabited by Sibo, as well as the most dangerous evil spirits that he keeps a constant watch over so that they cannot escape. In addition there are three levels underneath our own, one of which is where the souls of the deceased go.
Shamans in Bribri culture are called awapa (singular: awa). These roles are specific to men. Nima's father was probably an awa. Roles for women in the culture are unique as well. Only women can inherit land, because families are matrilineal, and only women can prepare the sacred cacao drink. Awapa are not able to train their own sons in the practice because of the matrilineal traditions; they can only train the sons of their female relatives.
Most Bribri tribes consider the ocean to be the home of evil spirits. The Tun-Si tribe does not seem to share this belief, because their culture is heavily centered around the ocean, making them different from their kin on the mainland.
In real life, Sibú is the Bribri creator deity. The only animals that can reach him are king vultures, who serve as links between him and the lower levels of the universe.
Most Bribri tribes are relatively isolated. This could explain why the Tun-Si people did not go to live with other Bribri groups after they were displaced from Isla Nublar.
- Retrieved from http://www.masraniglobal.com/about/divisions/jurassicworld/index.html
- Jurassic Park: The Game, scenario Bygones.
- In the scenario Bygones, set in 1993, Nima says this is her first time back on the island in nearly 12 years.
- Jurassic Park: The Game, scenario Old Friends. This statement is true for both endings.