Common questions

What city has the most traditional Alebrijes?

What city has the most traditional Alebrijes?

The three towns most closely associated with alebrije production in Oaxaca have produced a number of notable artisans such as Manuel Jiménez, Jacobo Angeles, Martin Sandiego, Julia Fuentes, and Miguel Sandiego.

What do Alebrijes symbolize?

The Alebrijes are spirit guides, as they were depicted in the 20-day cycle of the Zapotec calendar. Their role was to link the spirits and the real world and guide a person through their lives.

What does Alebrijes mean in English?

Research led to me this description: Traditionally, Alebrijes are carved and painted animal figurines that have become a form of symbolic art from Mexico. The word Alebrije means “imaginary” or “fantasy,” describing a style of animal carvings with exceptional paint schemes.

Where in Mexico are Alebrijes made?

Linares passed away in 1992. Today Linares descendants continue with the family business making the now iconic alebrije figurines, judas and skeletons in La Merced in Mexico City while many papier mache artists craft these fierce creatures around the country.

What do alebrijes have to do with Day of the Dead?

Alebrijes are represented in Mexican folk art as vibrant, fantastical creatures that often resemble dragons, lizards and other mystical creatures. In the animated Disney film about Day of the Dead, Coco, alebrijes are “spirit animals” that guide the spirits of ancestors on their journey.

How are alebrijes decorated?

Most Oaxacan carvings are made from copal wood, a softwood tree that is often as curved and crooked as the mystical creatures that are made from it. The carvings are then brightly painted, most with repetitive dots and geometric shapes that give the pieces a look of depth and texture.

How do you say alebrijes in Spanish?


  1. ah. – leh. – bree. – heh.
  2. a. – le. – βɾi. – xe.
  3. a. – le. – bri. – je.

What is the story behind alebrijes?

The origin of the Alebrijes can be traced to Pedro Linares, an artist who lived in Mexico City in the 1930s. Linares said that in 1936 he was very ill and then became unconscious. While in a state of unconsciousness, he began to hallucinate and see visions of a forest with strange animals.

What do alebrijes look like?

Alebrijes have horns, antlers, wings, fins, and some have them all at once! Though no two are exactly alike, all alebrijes have startlingly vibrant color markings. They feature detailed patterns of stripes, dots, geometric shapes, flowers, and flames. Many have bodies with exaggerated, twisted contortions.

Why are alebrijes important to the Day of the Dead?

Animals play an important role in many Mexican traditions, including Dias de Los Muertos. In the animated Disney film about Day of the Dead, Coco, alebrijes are “spirit animals” that guide the spirits of ancestors on their journey.

What is alebrije used for?

As we mentioned before, alebrijes from Oaxaca are a new form of wood carving. Before that wood carving artisans in Oaxaca used to carve detailed animals, masks, and toys leaving them with their natural wood color or painting them in a more traditional way.

How do I pronounce alebrijes?

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