Alebrijes: Mystical Art, History, Culture and Practice

Alebrijes: Mystical Art, History, Culture and Practice.

Our original alebrije experience is the perfect combination of culture, history, practice, and fun!

Overview of Experience

Oaxacan alebrijes are surreal dream-like wooden sculptures composed of elements of different animals and/or mythical creatures and painted with brilliant colors and patterns. This process requires dedication, patience, and a keen attention to detail. As you’ve probably seen on the streets, a popular trend in alebrije-making has been to create organic, recognizable animal figures carved and painted in a similar fashion.

What to Expect

Alex, Criselda, and their mom Benita, all members of a renowned family of alebrije painters, invite you to join them and Tlayudona to embark on the adventure of immersing yourself in colors and patterns as you learn to paint your own alebrije.  They are proudly from Tilcajete, a local village  renowned for its history of woodcarving and alebrije-creation, and are the second and third generation of artists in this craft. They will share their town´s history and relationship with this colorful artform, and will explore the complex history of this craft, which is somewhat intersectional in time and place with Mexico City and other Oaxacan villages. They will explain the historical meaning behind different color selections and the series of zapotec-originated designs used to decorate alebrijes. (Beginners, have no fear–the earliest alebrijes were painted with a series of lines and dots, and Criselda is also ready to demonstrate a “how to” for the less artistically-inclined!)

This is an introductory course and no prior experience or skill level is required. It is offered in Spanish with English translation. Check our social media for albums of past alebrije-painting workshops, as this is our longest standing experience and we have hosted more groups than we can count.

Experience Includes

  • Your own 3-5 inch hand-carved alebrije (There will be various models to choose from)

  • Your choice of acrylic colors

  • Brushes, palettes, aprons, and other necessary art supplies lent by Tlayudona

  • A live presentation about the history of alebrijes in Oaxaca and group instruction regarding painting techniques

  • One-on-one help with your detailing technique

  • A locally-harvested and roasted Oaxacan coffee made by our french press with optional refill (and/or bottled water)

  • A complimentary mezcal (or two, if you´re so-inclined)

  • A locally-made cookie to munch on while you discover your inner-artist

Logistics and Cost

Time Involvement: 3 Hours

Transportation: Unnecessary. Held at Tlayudona.

Costs and Minimums – 880 MXN per person.

Children are welcome to attend with their parents.

There is a minimum of 4 people and maximum of 10 people for this experience. You are welcome to schedule a private experience for your group or family. We are able to accommodate larger groups as part of group travel or special events upon request.

What Others are Saying About Tlayudona

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