Friendly Little Monsters Called Alebrijes.

Photos and text by Lupita Franco Peimbert.

(Culture) – Considered popular art in Mexico and Latin America, the Alebrijes are colorful creatures or friendly little monsters made of cardboard, paper-mache, and occasionally from Copal wood. There is some mysticism attached to these dreamy pieces, as many believe they are representations of something special: guardian angels disguised as multi-form animals, good luck amulets, messengers, protectors.

The Alebrijes found their way into this planet in the 1930’s when Oaxacan artisan Pedro Linares dreamed of this figures and began creating them. Other artisans credited for this friendly little monsters are Manuel Jimenez and Maria Sabina. The popular art has grown since, becoming a source of income for the artisan in Oaxaca and other parts of Mexico, but more importantly, making Alebrijes has become a tradition transfer throughout generations.

On a recent trip to Mexico City, I saw a large collection of gigantic Alebrijes exhibited on Avenida Reforma, curated by the Museum of Popular Art.  Alebrijes are quite a sight, and who knows? they may truly be visitors from another world and for the good of this one.

Enjoy this slide show!


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About the writer:

  • I’m a former television news reporter turned blogger and public information officer; culture enthusiast, an avid hiker, and traveler; single; bilingual.  Connect with me on
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