“Far from the beaten path on a dusty trail a lizard scuttles from beneath a bush, he scampers up onto a rock so you may view him in his full glory. Lizard is a sundancer, a sun worshiper, he takes in healing energies as he basks in the glorious warmth of the golden beams of light… … you know he has a mystical tale to tell,” the universeofsymbolism.com site tells us. These words ring true when we see the Red Lizard Alebrije Oaxaca. His magnificent color and design seem to evoke a magical power gleaned from the heat of the sun shining upon his back and filling his belly as if he has lain on a flat sun-heated rock in Oaxaca, Mexico.
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 10.5 by 5 bu 1.5 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 10.5 inch, Red Lizard Alebrije Oaxaca, artist signed.