The tradition of wood carving for masks and toys has been a part of Mexican culture for a long time. However, the brightly painted Oaxacan Wood Carvings, produced in several small villages outside of the city of Oaxaca, dates back only to the 1970's. Master carver, Manuel Jimenez, who passed away in 2005, is the original creator of this art form.
These popular wood carvings, also known as alebrijes run the gamut from animals, religious icons, muertos and fantastical creatures. The shapes, sizes and colors are only limited by the artists' imagination. There are many noteworthy Mexican folk artists specializing in Oaxacan Wood Carvings. The truly amazing thing is that wonderful collections can be started for as little as $20.00.