ARTISAN UPDATE – Alebrijes – Oaxaca, Mexico

Fair Trade Alebrijes from the homes and workshops of Oaxaca, Mexico

Alebrijes of Oaxaca

Enter a land where fantasy and reality collide – the village of San Martin Tilcajete in Oaxaca, Mexico. The wild creatures are made by local artists and sold through family businesses employing many family members. Though many people carve, paint and finish the alebrijes, the pieces are generally only signed by the lead artists.

Topanien Global Gifts has worked with Joaquin and his family for over 10 years to bring you the colorful Alebrijes. Joaquin’s showroom is the front half of his home.

Alebrijes of Oaxaca

“Twice a year i travel by bus along the highway between Oaxaca and San Martin. I trek down a very long and dusty road to reach these homes of color, design and folk art,” Nadine, owner of  Topanien Global Gifts.

Nadine pictured with Joaquin and his wife, Laura. Joaquin is a lead artist and all pieces coming out of his workshop are signed by him.

Wild Horse Alebrije




Giraffe Alebrijes







The walls, tables, shelves and, even the exterior of the homes in San Martin Tilcajete, are covered with the zany and joyful Alebrijes.

Alebrijes of Oaxaca

Alebrijes of Oaxaca

Siamese Cat Alebrije

 Prices vary greatly and are dependent on the skill of the artist, the carving and the intricacy of the painted design.

Alebrije Workshop

Alebrije artist, Hipolote, works beneath a dragon

every day and never, has he been singed.


 Flamingo Alebrijes