Alebrijes from Oaxaca

Martin Melchor & Melinda Ortega wrap toucan carving
I learned so much on my trip to Oaxaca, and was given so much to think about. Specifically, I was faced with the realities of trying to make a real living when your sole occupation is crafts, and what happens when those crafts become difficult to sell.

Epafanio Fuentes carving with machete
My (new) friend Mike, an anthropologist who has done extensive research (indeed, written a book) about alebrijes took me to meet Saúl Arágon and his family and translated my interviews for me. It's a complex issue and you can read a bit about it in today's Etsy post. Suffice it to say, I came home with many, many alebrijes.

Saúl Aragón talking about some of his family's carvings
More photos of Oaxaca can be found a couple of posts back.
Anna & Alma painting at the Aragón home