Alebrije de Oaxaca


In the past there was the idea that the human being had a certain duality with nature, and therefore a person could adopt certain characteristics or abilities of a particular animal, which that created a spiritual bond with that animal from our birth.

In the Zapotec culture these protective animals are called" tonas ", and was the father of family who was in charge of putting a lime circle outside the house after the birth of their son, and the next morning to be able to recognize the tracks of the animal that was taking care of the newborn at night.

Today we know that there are 20 “tonas” or protectors: coyote, lizard or, armadillo, turtle, snake, rabbit, deer, frog, dog, monkey, owl, eagle, jaguar, butterfly, fish, iguana, snail, opossum, hummingbird and cenzontle. These “tonas” have been the inspiration of the artisans of Oaxaca who, in an artisanal way, for many years have dedicated themselves to the elaboration of beautiful pieces carved in copal wood and decorated by hand.

The great admiration for these crafts has been so large, that at the beginning in San Martin Tilcajete only these pieces were carved for the use of the family, as toys or decoration, but today the creation of these crafts has become the main economic activity of the tenants of this town.

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It was around 1980, when Judith Bronowski, made a series of documentaries that allowed several artisans to make their art known, that was when Manuel Jiménez met Pedro Linares, creator of the Alebrijes, it could be at this time that Manuel, noticing the color of Pedro's pieces, decided to implement it in his own work, and that is how alebrijes were born in Oaxaca.

Being easy to distribute throughout the The firm nature of its materials and the little fragility of the pieces were soon very successful and proliferated more than the original alebrijes.

In the opinion of a server, the two crafts, both paper and wood are alebrijes, each one made in its very particular technique, currently there are teachers specialized only in the painting of these pieces and an elaborated piece can take up to 3 months to manufacture, so it is also important to recognize the work of the artisans and the whole soul that they capture in each of their pieces.

On our site you can find a selection of wooden shades to decorate your home, for its sensational color, an alebrije fits anywhere.