Create Your Own Alebrijes!
You can create your own Alebrijes! Download our activity sheet and follow the instructions to see what unique animal you’ll be creating!
About Xolo Ceramics/Alebrijes
In indigenous Mexican culture, Xolo dogs are believed to protect the living and guide the souls of the dead through the underworld. Alebrijes on the other hand are a popular folk art depicting fantastic colorful creatures. Paper-mache, wood, and ceramic figures of both Alebrijes and Xolo dogs are often used to decorate an ofrenda during Día de los Muertos
The first alebrijes were created by indigenous artist Pedro Linares. Linares often said that in 1943, he fell very ill. While he was in bed unconscious, he dreamt of a strange place resembling a forest. There, he saw trees, rocks, and clouds that suddenly transformed into strange unknown animals. He saw “a donkey with butterfly wings, a rooster with bull horns, and a lion with an eagle head”, and all of them were shouting one word “Alebrijes! Alebrijes! Alebrijes!” Before this happened, he was already a cartonero (papier-mâché) artisan. Upon recovery, he began recreating these creatures that he had seen in cartonería, the making of three-dimensional sculptures with different types of papers, strips of papers and engrudo (glue made out of wheat flour and water).