What you should know about Mexican “Alebrijes”

Fantastic Alebrijes take over Mexico City's streets
English 19/10/2018 20:42 Suyapa Alvarado Mexico City Actualizada 08:42

Learn more about these mind-boggling colorful creatures that have become a part of Mexican folklore

One day, Linares fell unconscious due to an illness and, during a long period of deep sleep, he claimed to have seen a series of mind-boggling creatures

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Fantastic Alebrijes take over Mexico City's streets

Pedro Linares later tried to reproduce the creatures by painting small figures made of cardboard with all sorts of vibrant colors

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Fantastic Alebrijes take over Mexico City's streets

Alebrijes are usually a blend of different animals

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Fantastic Alebrijes take over Mexico City's streets

Artisans in Oaxaca make alebrijes carved out of copal wood, which are then painted with bright colors and all sorts of tiny patterns and details on their bodies

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Fantastic Alebrijes take over Mexico City's streets

Mexico City Alebrije Parade is organized by the Museum of Popular Art

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Fantastic Alebrijes take over Mexico City's streets

The parade features over 200 monumental papier-mâché sculptures

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Fantastic Alebrijes take over Mexico City's streets

At the end of the parade, the monumental alebrijes will remain in Paseo de la Reforma from Saturday, October 19 to Sunday, November 17

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Fantastic Alebrijes take over Mexico City's streets

The sculptures are created by artisans, artist collectives, and craft workshops

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Fantastic Alebrijes take over Mexico City's streets

These mind-boggling colorful creatures have become a part of Mexican folklore

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Fantastic Alebrijes take over Mexico City's streets

Manuel Jiménez Ramírez, from San Antonio Arrazola, is one of the main exponents of Oaxaca’s alebrijes

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Fantastic Alebrijes take over Mexico City's streets

The sculptures will remain between the Angel of Independence monument and the Diana the Huntress fountain

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Fantastic Alebrijes take over Mexico City's streets

Over 200 alebrijes marched from Mexico City's main square, Zócalo, to the Angel of the Independence in Reforma Avenue

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Fantastic Alebrijes take over Mexico City's streets

The event was attended by people of all ages and nationalities as part of the celebrations of Mexico's Day of the Dead

EL UNIVERSAL in English/Miranda Perea

Fantastic Alebrijes take over Mexico City's streets

Alebrijes are fantastic creatures created by Pedro Linares López, a scavenger born in 1906 in Mexico City. One day, Linares fell unconscious due to an illness and, during a long period of deep sleep, he claimed to have seen a series of mind-boggling creatures which he later tried to reproduce by painting small figures made of cardboard with all sorts of vibrant colors.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Una publicación compartida por Museo de Arte Popular (@map_mexico) el

Have you ever heard of Cempasúchil or the "flower of the Dead"?

Alebrijes are usually a blend of different animals: They may have a lion’s head and the body of a crocodile, or the body of a fish with dragon wings, to name a few. Though they were originally made of cardboard, artisans in Oaxaca make alebrijes carved out of copal wood, which are then painted with bright colors and all sorts of tiny patterns and details on their bodies.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Una publicación compartida por Museo de Arte Popular (@map_mexico) el

Have you ever heard of the Mexican hairless dog who will guide you to the underworld?

Manuel Jiménez Ramírez, from San Antonio Arrazola, is one of the main exponents of Oaxaca’s alebrijes. Through his work, he represents “nahuales.”

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Una publicación compartida por Museo de Arte Popular (@map_mexico) el

Nahuales are a part of pre-Hispanic folklore and are understood in two different ways. On the one hand, nahuales are thought to be mythological beings; supernatural wizards of sorts capable of transforming into animals, objects, or natural elements related to witchcraft. On the other hand, the nahual is a spiritual connection between a person and an animal, with the latter serving as a guide and protector.

Have you ever tried Pan de Muerto, Bread of the Dead?

In the village of Tilcajete, tourists are allowed to interact with artisans and visit their workshops while they make alebrijes by hand.
 

 

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