Alebrije - Armadillo with owl
◇ Technique: Hand painted on copal wood carving (Bursera spp.).
◇ Dimensions: 45 x 39 x 21 cm.
Since 2017 we have been personally directing the process of Zapotec figures whose original name is “tonas” or “nahuales”.
This special selection of Oaxacan Alebrije commissioned by Marakame to the best authors of modern alebrije, is hand painted on wood carving of the copal tree (Bursera, spp), which grows around the communities of San Martín Tilcajete and San Antonio Arrazola, towns in the Zapotec region of the State of Oaxaca, in southern Mexico. Cedar wood carving is also commonly used due to the characteristics of this wood.
In these places, for generations the inhabitants have developed the artisan work of pieces with this wood. The manufacture of each work can take up to 15 months (depending on its dimensions and details) from start to finish, using simple tools such as machetes, gouges and knives for finishing; being the drying of the wood the step that makes the whole process more patient and detailed. Later comes the implicit symbolic detail of the old Zapotec worldview that narrates about iconic animals representing their culture, raising the elements that sustain the life of this people.