Toads and frogs have great significance in many cultures. “Traditionally in China, toads are regarded as lunar, “yin” and humid symbols, used medicinally and bringers of much-needed rain. In parched regions of Mexico and Africa, toads are also seen as bringing the rains and are given rock-star status accordingly,” -www.printmag.com However, frogs, unlike toads, have smooth skin and live in wet environs and symbolize transformation, fertility and birth rituals. The Purple Frog Alebrije Oaxaca is a beautiful creature inspiring us with his calm attitude, beautiful color and design and serene pose.
Both toads and frogs’ glistening wet patches have given rise to the notion of these animals as marked with a jewel, emblematic of magic and wisdom.
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.
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Hand crafted in Oaxaca, Mexico of the indigenous Copal wood. Approximately 5 by 1.75 by 3 inches and carved from dense copal wood. Made under fair trade practices and purchased direct from the Mercado de Artsanias, Oaxaca, Mexico.
One Fair Trade, approximately 5 inch, Purple Frog Alebrije Oaxaca.