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Nocturnal Mystery Handmade Owl with Ear Tufts Alebrije Figurine from Mexico

Nocturnal Mystery Handmade Owl with Ear Tufts Alebrije Figurine from Mexico

Regular price $48.95
Sale price $48.95 Regular price
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SKU: SKU: SK-NVC-324261

Product Features
Working with Fair Trade certified organizations is an important part of what we do. This product is made by artisans that are fairly compensated for their skilled work, and helps provide a living wage as well as safe work conditions.

Long considered a mysterious creature, an owl is made more so by its fantastical design in this terrific example of the Mexican alebrije tradition from Oaxacan artisans Jesus and Roxana Hernandez. A multitude of hand-painted designs in vivid shades cover the body and tufted head of this figurine, carved by hand from copal wood. The artisan pair are helping guide future generations of wood carvers. Says Jesus, 'We have four children, who bring us much joy...We want them to learn our art and to preserve and spread it....We are teaching them our craft and also teach our cousins, nieces and nephews.'

The alebrije tradition started with Mexico City papier mache artisan Pedro Linares (1906-1992). When he was 30, he fell into a coma due to serious illness. While he was unconscious, he dreamed he was caught between the land of the living and the dead; the place looked like a forest and was populated with creatures with body parts belonging to different animals. The beings repeatedly uttered the word alebrije. Upon recovering, Linares recreated these figures in bright colors using papier mache techniques and called them alebrijes. His work became famous and was one of the main influences of artisans in the state of Oaxaca who began crafting alebrijes of their own using traditional wood carving methods.

  • materials: Copal wood
  • Signed by the artist
  • Hand-crafted item -- color, size and/or motif may vary slightly
4.1 in. H x 2.8 in. W x 2.4 in. D

Artisan Information

Jesus and Roxana Hernandez

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Jesus and Roxana Hernandez come from a Zapotec community in Oaxaca. "In our village, most of the men and women are wood-carvers and we specialize in Mexico's traditional alebrije sculptures. These are colorful and fanciful figures carved from natural branches that depict all kinds of strange and wonderful animals and imaginary creatures," Jesus explains.

"When we set up our workshop, the panorama didn't look good but we had so many dreams. We wanted to craft only large alebrijes with special motifs. These, of course, are worth more. But the problem wasn't making them. The problem was selling them. Not many shoppers purchased them and we became discouraged. So the first two years were rough for us.

"But then we were invited to participate in a public event that the governor attended. We gave a demonstration of carving and painting and he came over to see what we were doing. He recognized the value of our work and congratulated us. And he also bought the biggest alebrije we had — a bull. We were thrilled! It was a wonderful opportunity to introduce ourselves, because we were mentioned in newspapers and magazines that covered the event.

"From then on, we approached the public institutions that promoted popular art contests. We began to participate and won prizes, which gained recognition for our workshop.

"We have four children, who bring us much joy. We spend all our free time with them, whether flying a kite or taking a walk in the countryside. We want them to learn our art and to preserve and spread it. But more, we want them to grow up happy and proud. We are teaching them our craft and also teach our cousins, nieces and nephews.

"Mastering the art of alebrijes requires practice, discipline and much love. We use copal wood for our designs. We dry, treat and sand the wood before painting the motifs by hand. Roxana is expert at decorating the sculptures and her delicate hands convey beauty, from fine geometric patterns to flowers. Her designs are unique and elegantly detailed.

"We're an artisan family and we strive to improve our skills day by day. We believe that 'nothing ventured, nothing gained.' So we take on the challenge of creating innovative designs, and we experiment with different materials, some more complex than others.

"Thankfully, we are now able to offer work to our our artisan neighbors. This is important in preserving our culture and tradition as well as generating a source of income. But more than that, we help stop the migration of artisan to cities to find work, and we contribute toward making our community more prosperous."

Supplier Information

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NOVICA was started with a dream to create a better world for artisans, because a better world for artisans is a better world for all.

Along the way, the founders of NOVICA discovered something very important - as artisans around the world succeeded, there was also a visible and profound impact on the communities around them.

Your purchases are that powerful. They directly and indirectly provide for education, help with health care, fund basic needs, support children, preserve disappearing arts, and of course, spread happiness around the world.

The founders of NOVICA had a vision of the future that is not one of mega factories producing cookie cutter products for all to cheaply consume. Instead, a bright future that celebrates artisans who take the time to create an item by hand. A future where time is protected, where stories are told, where unique details are honored. Love, respect, inclusiveness become driving force.

Shipping

United States shipping only. Expedited shipping is unavailable. Allow for 1-2 days extra processing time. This product may ship separately from other products in your order and may have longer than normal shipping timelines as it will ship directly from its country of origin.

Returns

All sales of this product are final -- we do not accept returns or issue replacements unless there is a defect with the product. Please review our Returns & Exchanges policy.

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