Alebrijes of San Martin Ticajete – Oaxaca

Alebrijes of Oaxaca, Mexico

Inviting giraffes into your home might not seem practical but these colorful giraffes from San Martin Ticajete will sit quietly on their couch offering your home a bit of Mexican whimsey and flair. “Mexico is all about color, fun and surprise. We can certainly find it in the wild alebrijes from San Martin,” says Nadine, buyer and owner of Topanien Global Gifts.

Alebrijes - Oaxaca, Mexico
Joaquin has been supplying us with alebrijes for over 10 years.


Alebrijes - Oaxaca, Mexico

Fair Trade

Joaquin and Hipolote set their prices. Topanien Global Gifts receive a wholesale price but it is Joaquin and Hipolote who decides, along with the other artisans, the wholesale and retail prices. The artisan work is done in homes along with the showing of the pieces. Entire families and extended families participate. Alebrijes are carved by hand and then intricately painted with their whimsical designs and wonderful colors.

Orders are packed by the same people who make the alebrijes. Joaquin ships his orders to Topanien Global Gifts but Hipolote gives them to Nadine, owner of Topanien, in a large garbage sack. Nadine will take these back to her hotel for further packing and then shipping to home base in Portland, OR.

All Alebrijes made for Topanien Global Gifts originate in San Martin Tilcajete, a small village in Oaxaca, Mexico. The alebrijes are hand-carved of the Copal tree wood and you see artisan Hipolote standing near such a tree just before it has leafed out. It is one tree in Mexico that looses its leaves.