Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Have you ever been to Oaxaca? It’s a place in Mexico you don’t want to miss. One of the things that make Oaxaca such an interesting and unparalleled place is the level of sophistication that surrounds its cuisine and its regional handcrafts.
One of the most famous handcraft of Oaxaca is the “Alebrijes”. I’m sure you’ve heard about Alebrijes before. Alebrijes are brightly colored pieces of Mexican folk art made from wood or papier maché. Alebrijes are hand made by artisans in Oaxaca, making them unique regional pieces of art.

Because of their bizarre animal-like appearance, I’ve always been intrigued by the history of Alebrijes. In one of my trips to Oaxaca, an artisan by the name of Juan told me the history of these bizarre and unique crafts. The story says that . a Mexican artisan by the name of Pedro Linares, laid in bed suffering from a severe illness. In his visions he imagined bizarre and extraordinary creatures that shouted the words "Alebrijes! Alebrijes! Alebrijes!." When he recovered from his illness, Linares began to depict the creatures that haunted his dreams. The tradition spread rapidly and became one of the most recognized artistic traditions in Mexico.

Today the artisans artists that make these wonderful figures are decreasing in numbers, and most of them have ceased to work as artisans and moved to urban areas in search of better paying jobs. I am convinced that supporting these artists is a necessary step to ensure that local artisans can have a life worth living, without detaching themselves from their traditions and communities.


  1. Oaxaca is a magical place!
    I just visited Oaxaca City and it’s beautiful. The people are very nice; and there’s a lot to do in Oaxaca.

    I recommend that you visit the following sites if you plan to visit Oaxaca any time soon:
    -Santa Domingo
    -MACO – Contemprary Art Museum of Oaxaca
    -Photographic Center Manual Alvarez Bravo
    -Monte Alban

    There are some nice places to eat in downtown
    -Casa de la Abuela – tradicional mexican food!
    -Danzantes – Upsacale restaurant, but nice!
    -Zandunga – a must!

    If you want to buy some gifts I recommend you go to the market. If you are looking for some nice moderns handcrafts I recommend a store called Black Box. It’s located near Santo Domingo in the Plaza de Cafe Gecko.

    If you forgot or want to buy high quality handcrafts I recommend you visit baalart. It’s a really nice online store and all the products are very high quality!

  2. Los alebrijes!!! Creo que no hay una mejor materialización de la magia y lo surreal de mexico!
    En Buenos Aires no conozco ningun lugar donde puedan conseguirse.
    Hay una muy buena tienda en intenet, www.Baalart.com, si pueden denle un vistazo!