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History & Manufacturing

According to tradition, Pedro Linares (1906 - 1992) from Mexico city had become very sick at the age of 30. Medical aid was unaffordable for poor people and therefore the prospect of recovery almost impossible. One night, in a delirium, Linares found himself in a beautiful place. The pain was gone and he experienced total happiness. Suddenly, everything around him changed and strange beings emerged; lions with eagle heads and a donkey with butterfly wings, but also colorful iguanas and magnificent armadillos. All these animals were whispering a previously unheard-of concept. Linares awoke cured from his dream and could only remember the word "Alebrije." In order to introduce his family and the world to the curious “Albebrijes”, Linares created the mystical creatures out of papier-mâché after his recovery. Don Manuel Jiménez (1919 - 2005) actually is the founder of the woodcarving craft in Oaxaca. It began in the early '60s with the production of the mythical creatures out of wood. Some of his works can be viewed today in Mexico City at the Diego Rivera Museum. Today about 200 families are employed producing “Alberijes” in the beautiful region of Oaxaca. Alebrijes are made from the wood of the copal tree. Its resin to this day is sacrificed during ritual ceremonies of the indigenous people. After beating the wood, it becomes very soft and therefore is very easy to work with. After the objects are carved they are dried in the sun. This process hardens the wood and makes it also very light. After cultivating the paper, the objects are primed and painted elaborately. To this day, the “ Alebrijes " are found in Mexican households to keep away evil and protect the dreams of the children.

Carved of wood
Have a bath against vermins
The drying ...
... and ornamental painting

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