Looking every bit the product of a fever dream that alebrijes are, this outlandishly-decorated owl sculpture is crafted by hand from copal wood by Mexican artisans Jesus and Roxana Hernandez. 'Mastering the art of alebrijes requires practice, discipline and much love,' says Jesus. 'Roxana is expert at decorating the sculptures and her delicate hands convey beauty, from fine geometric patterns to flowers. Her designs are unique and elegantly detailed.'
The alebrije tradition started with Mexico City papier mache artisan Pedro Linares (1906-1992). When he was 30, he fell into a coma due to serious illness. While he was unconscious, he dreamed he was caught between the land of the living and the dead; the place looked like a forest and was populated with creatures with body parts belonging to different animals. The beings repeatedly uttered the word alebrije. Upon recovering, Linares recreated these figures in bright colors using papier mache techniques and called them alebrijes. His work became famous and was one of the main influences of artisans in the state of Oaxaca who began crafting alebrijes of their own using traditional wood carving methods.
- Copal wood
- 1 oz
- 3.7 inches H x 2 inches W x 2 inches D