Friday, July 14, 2006


These very popular figurines are carved from wood by hand and have a very nice history. The name Alebrijes was given by a Mexican Indian of the State of Oaxaca that once had a dream in which he saw strange animals made up of parts of one animal mixed with others, and those animals were making strange sounds that he could not understand. The one and only word that he could understand was Alebrije.

Without knowing the meaning of that word he adopted it as their name. When he awoke, he took a piece of Copal Wood (which is native to Oaxaca) and started carving the animals that he saw in his dream. His animals are very similar of the ones we are presenting here.
Creatively carved by the artists hand, no two pieces will ever be exactly alike. Each one a unique piece of art.

I have been looking at different Mexican Folk Art on the internet and I keep running into these little wood carved figures. Of course I love them because of their color and whimsey! Here is a link to a great site with lots of wonderful pictures. Click on the title Alebrijes above to go and see some!


Patti said...

Just a note to say I am glad you found and appreciate Pedro Linares' work, however, he and his family work began as paper mache, and they continue in that medium today. He was from Mexico City, and the wooden carvings are from the Oaxaca area. The tradition from Oaxaca is many generations old, and the two traditions never crossed until recent years after being discovered by art collectors. As an artist and art teacher, I feel that I must pass that information on to you! Have a happy day!
Patti V.

Anonymous said...

If you want to read more about how alebrijes are made, where their come from, and their origins, I invite you to check out my blog!