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An alebrije (Spanish pronunciation: [aleˈβɾihe]) is a brightly-colored Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical animal-like creatures. While Pedro Linares first used the term to describe his papier mache creations, it is now commonly used in reference to the Oaxacan woodcarvings.
The Origin of Alebrijes are in debate. It is true that Pedro Linares invented it, he started out as a common papier mache artist, but in late 1930s, he started creating elaborate decorative pieces that represented imaginary creatures he called alebrijes.
Regardless documents indicates he was inspired by a dream when he fell ill, people that knew him indicates that he had hallucinations related to alcohol withdrawal1. He made the creatures that he saw on his hallucinations and painted with bright colors with intricate patterns. The creatures featured wings, horns, tails, fierce teeth, and bulgy eyes. After some years, alebrijes started to be classified according its characteristics.
Later, at San Antonio Arrazola, Xoxocotlán, the alebrijes started to be created using one of the precious wood that can be found in Mexico: Copal. Today, The small town located southwest of Oaxaca and Montealbán, is well know as the "Birthplace of the Alebrijes".
Narciso González from Arrazola Xoxo, is a experienced craftsman that makes the finest alebrijes of the town. The quality of his work can be appreciated on each piece created. He have more than twenty years experience working with copal and painting alebrijes.
Each alebrije is unique. All the process of elaboration is entirely hand made and can take months to make one.
Compared to the low quality ones that can be purchased on craft stores, Narciso's alebrijes are professionally carved and painted as you can see in the left picture.
Bright colors and tiny dots creates a beautiful piece of art ideal to decorate offices or houses, even for your art collection.
1 In México, alcoholism is considered an illness, not a drug addiction. Perhaps this is not mentioned for privacy concerns.
Narciso González' Alebrijes|
Images and design property of Narciso González (c) 2009
Phone: (+52) 951 517 2165