Have you ever seen an Alebrije?

Alebrijes are brightly coloured Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures. The first alebrije originated with Pedro Linares. In 1936, when he was 30 years old, Linares was ill, he had fever and hallucinated. In his nightmares, he was in a forest with rocks and clouds. Many of them became wild, unnaturally coloured creatures with wings, horns, tails, fierce teeth and bulgy eyes. When he saw the creatures, he heard many voices which shouted the strange word “alebrije.” After he recovered, he began to create the creatures with papier-mâché and cardboard. A gallery owner in Cuernavaca saw his work. Later, the artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo were impressed too. Linares was born June 29th, 1906 inMéxico City and he lived there all his life until he died January 25th, 1992. The Oaxaca valley area already had a tradition of carving animals and other types of figures out of wood. Linares adapted his designs to the local tradition and the local material: a type of wood called copal. The craft was so successful that the native copal almost disappeared. They have tried to solve the problem but it is not as easy as it looks.

Have you ever seen an alebrije?  Word Activity.

Have you ever seen an alebrije? PDF Activity.


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Alebrijes parade

Marcha de los Alebrijes

The Mexico City Alebrije Parade is an annual event to honor Mexican handcrafts and folk art, especially a hard kind of papier-mâché called “cartonería” and the creation of fantastic figures with it called “alebrijes.” Alebrijes are chimera-like creatures credited to artisan Pedro Linares painted in bright colors. The alebrijes for the parade are larger than anything Linares created, up to four meters in height and three meters in width. The parade begins on midday on a Saturday in late October in the historic center of Mexico City. The giant creatures are accompanied by musicians, clowns, people in costume and more, giving the event a Carnival-like atmosphere. After the parade the creations are judged with prizes awarded. There are also related literary and musical compositions.


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Students at work




Gran alebrije (1)


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Abril-mache copia


Work Proposal for children

Click here! alebrijes

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  1. ana carpintero says:

    I like this photo because is very funny cheerful

    by ana carpintero

  2. ana carpintero says:

    hello ! carmen I like this photo beacouse is very funny

  3. lucia y amanda says:

    nos gustan las fotos sobre todo la de la cabalgata con un esqueleto encima de un dragón

  4. Emma says:

    HI CARMEN! i’m Emma of 1st year A (ESO) i like the alebrijes becouse are very interesting and are very colorful.

  5. rodrigo says:

    alebrijes are very cool

  6. Anjana Martín says:

    Hello! I like the photos to Alebrijes because the animals are very colorful and original.

  7. Ariana Sánchez says:

    hello carmen ! I like the Alebrijes because are very interesting and colorful.

  8. Paola Martinez says:

    Hello Carmen¡
    I love alebrijes because the monsters with animal shape are colourful,fun,original and above all they have a lot of work.And the story of how they created is very nice and interesting.

  9. andrea says:

    HI CARMEN! i like the alebriges is very beatifull and colourfull.

  10. Yaiza Quintana RuiLoba 1º B eso says:

    i love it they are beatifull, colourse and very funny.

  11. Pedro says:

    I am Pedro and I like the alebrijes becouse are very colorful fantasy figures

  12. sofia fernandez 1º B says:

    Hello Carmen! I´m Sofía, I really like to put this comment, because I feel very participatory. I find it very interesting and curious these little characters, plus bright and cheerful.

  13. Elena Sáinz =) says:

    Hi Carmen!! I like the Alebrijes because they are very colourful and original!!! I love the alebrijes with shapes of animals!! =)
    But some of them are a little bit scary… It seems it’s Halloween!! ❤

  14. maria lavin says:

    hello carmen!! the alebrijes are fantastic because are very beautiful,and very colourful

  15. Gonzalo Salcines says:

    alebrijes are beautiful because they have bright colors

  16. Javier Amor says:

    hola carmen! me encantan los alebrijes porque son muy coloridos y divertidos ,ademas de creativos

  17. Javier Amor says:

    Hi Carmen! I love alebrijes because they are so colorful and fun, creative addition

  18. Erika Carbajo 1ºb says:

    hello carmen! I like the alebrijes because they are very colorful, fun and original. Also i love the history of alebrijes, is very interesting.

  19. Andrés Santini Basanta says:

    Hi… I like Alebrijes because it’s very creative and the way you make them is also creative, I thought so as well. =)

    • Andrés Santini Basanta says:

      Me equivoqué, es: Hi… I like Alebrijes because it’s very creative and the way you make them is also creative… It’s very fun… I love the alebrije of the skeleton and Dragon. C:

  20. Are beautiful things, I can’t imagine how they do this… Are a wonderful pictures!

  21. isaac ballano 1º A says:

    I love alebrijes because they are very creative and have very many bright colors.

  22. Benito says:

    Good afternoon Carmen and partners.The alebrijes are very interesting and beautiuful.
    When I saw the alebrijes at class I was freaking out, and the alebrijes are very cool and original.
    Viva los alebrijes!!

  23. Benito says:

    Se traduce

  24. Anjana Martín says:

    I like this photos because they are very well and I think the work to do are funny

  25. maría lavin says:

    i love the alebrijes because they are very beautiful and they have got many colors,the dream that a person had has given return in a work of art.

  26. alvaro cobo 1ºB says:

    Alebrijes are fantastic because they are beautiful and colorful.

  27. yaiza quintana ruiloba 1B says:

    I love this because is very creative, beatifull, very colorful, fun, and there are very worked.

  28. Javier Amor says:

    I límete os page because are fantastic things and beautiful monsters

  29. Sara García says:

    Dreams of a person have made possible these wonderful creations with the whole class liked

  30. Víctor García barquín says:

    The people who do this work are very good artists I like a lot this works

  31. Paola Martínez says:

    It’s amazing how a dream can create monsters so original and colorful.
    Also, the alebrijes are known internationally. They having shapes as normal animals or fantastic animals.

  32. Erika Carbajo says:

    i like this original creatures because are very colorful and also because the body of the alebrijes have many parts of differents animals

  33. Angel Eduardo says:

    Hi carme
    I like alebrijes because it is veru beuatiful art and the bodys are has got a lot of colors 😉

  34. alberto gutierrez says:

    I like alebrijes because this a very hard work

  35. Diego San Emeterio says:

    I like alebrijes because is very beautifil , has got a lot of colours and it is very good work.

  36. pablodecelis says:

    me gusta mucho por que de be ser dificil

  37. Hola Carmen me encanta esta parte de la pagina , es súper guapa.
    1%HA Los animales así con la tela , son súper guapos y atraen mucho.
    2%La tela es alucínate el o la que lo hizo , se esforzó muchísimo
    Yo soy de México nunca me había enterado , de esta tradición , pero ahora cuando vaya a México intentare ir a verla por que me encanta.

  38. Marina Lavid says:

    Hola Carmen,he elegido los alebrijes, porque me gustan mucho por sus colores tan llamativos que tienen, su originalidad,su sensación de movimiento.Creo que podríamos realizar uno de ellos en clase.

  39. Diego Pelayo 1ºC says:

    Hola Carmen, me ha gustado mucho los alebrijes porque utilizan muchos colores y es muy creativo hacer esos muñecos tan difíciles.

  40. Javier Arce says:

    Hello! Martha, I have chosen this section because I like the crafts.
    Also he amazes every detail that it puts to the animals.
    Stand out the colors so alive that have.
    They seem to be very complicated to do.
    They are creative and original.

  41. Nose esta bien tiene mucho contenido y está en inglés para aprender pero esto atraerá más a los ingleses y no se si se ará muy famosa.

    Is cool the alebruces
    Buen formato android 🙂

  42. Adriana Cadena says:

    Pues me gusta la página porque me encantan tantos los colores mezclados, y los diseños de las cosas que pintan

  43. susanna says:

    Hola, un saludo desde la Ciudad de México, yo hago alebrijes 🙂

    • rosasadiez says:

      Qué suerte, Susana. Yo se los enseño a mis alumnos… Y les encanta! A mi me enamoraron. También la historia de cómo surgieron.

      Un abrazo desde el norte de España y gracias por tu comentario.

  44. Sergio says:

    Very beautiful photos Carmen

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