Alebrijes are an internationally respected Mexican tradition that first originated with Pedro Linares in the 1930s. Linares fell ill and while unconscious he dreamt of a strange forest. There, he saw animals turning into fantasies. Donkeys with butterfly wings, a rooster with bull horns and many more creatures, with all of them shouting one word, “Alebrijes.” Upon recovering, he began recreating these figures in cardboard and papier-maché.
Saul first learned the art of carving and painting at the age of 11, thanks to the help of his older brother Ramiro. Alma began painting alebrijes shortly after meeting Saul. Together, inspired by the nature and shapes of the wood around them, they created a family business now in its third decade and second generation of artists! More recently, 18 artisan families from Arrazola founded a conservation association known as Ecoalebrijes A.C., dedicated to reforestation and conservation of the coal tree. This conservation work is supported in part through a service and cultural exchange program with San Jose State University Health Science Department.
Alebrijes.: Creatures of Mexican Folklore
Large and small alebrijes will be available for purchase throughout the weekend. They are sold following the principles of the Fair Trade Federation, which among other things provides the opportunity for each artisan to earn several times the Mexican minimum wage, while preserving their local culture and helping to protect their environment. Proceeds from the sale support the artisans in Arrazola and allow them to maintain a workshop there to pass the tradition on to the next generation.
Welcome to the 2022 Minnesota Renaissance Festival – Shakopee, MN