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Pictures: Alebrijes for Culture Trip

Observing the wildly-colored patterns and fantastical forms of Oaxacan alebrije carvings, you might think they were the stuff of dreams, and you would be right. The first alebrijes to be called as such were created by Pedro Linares in Mexico City in the 1930s. A piñata-maker by trade, Linares fell into a delirious sleep while ill and dreamt of a forest of fantastical creatures with mismatched features—each one of them calling out the word alebrijes.

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