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The snake in Mexican culture is an inspiring piece of art encouraging us to look forward to growth and change. According to Misc. Symbolic Meanings “the snake is recognized as a symbol of humanity as a whole… … the Mexican perspective provides hope for mankind to aspire to great heights as it correlates the shedding of the serpent’s skin to man’s ability to change his own circumstances and overcome adversity.” The Oaxacan Aztec Desert Snake Alebrije is the epitome of beauty and forward motion.
The Mexican Alebrijes of Oaxaca are remarkable and irresistible representations of animals both real and imaginary decorated with flowers, other animals, geometrical designs and color; lots of color.
Legend tells us that the first alebrijes were seen a dream by Pedro Linares. Linares fell sick and during his convalescence he dreamt of a jungle filled with fantastical animals in every hue and color and with mixed up parts. Butterfly wings might be on a giraffe. Unicorns cavort with eagle headed lions and frogs have horns. The animals were making a clamor and the only word that Linares could remember was ‘alebrijes.’ Upon his recovery, Linares began to re-create the creature of his dreams in paper mache and he called them ‘alebrijes.’
In the 1980’s and with a history of carving animals, Oaxacan artists began creating the alebrijes that we know today; the colorful wooden animals often in dreamlike designs and color patterns. For a longer and more complete version of the history view Wikipedia and Alebrije.
If sending Mexican Alebrijes of Oaxaca to a friend, please be sure to request FREE Gift Wrapping during your check out. Due to the extraordinary shape of the snake, he will not arrive gift-wrapped but rather, adorned with simple ribbons secured around his slender neck.
*see related items below.
Hand crafted in Oaxaca, Mexico of the indigenous Copal wood. Approximately 15 by 7 by 8 inches and carved from dense copal wood. Made under fair trade practices and purchased direct from the the artist, Joaquin Hernandez of San Martin Tilcajete, Oaxaca, Mexico.
One Fair Trade, approximately 15 inch, Oaxacan Aztec Desert Snake Alebrije, signed by artist Joaquin Hernandez.