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Exquisite Ocelot (also known as painted leopard) Alebrije wood carving by the Melchor family. Expertly carved out of a single piece of copal wood at their workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico and painted with the most delicate detail.
Origin: Oaxaca, Mexico
Time to complete: 10 months
Height/Length/Width: 10" x 9" x 7"
Material: Single piece of copal wood
Signed by the artist on the bottom. Signed certificate of authenticity included.
This special piece of Oaxacan Alebrije art was hand carved and painted using the wood of the copal tree (Bursera) which grows around the communities of San Martin Tilcajete and San Antonio Arrazola, towns in the Zapotec region of the State of Oaxaca, in southern Mexico.
In these places, for generations the inhabitants have developed the artisan work of "alebrijes" with this wood. The creation of each work can take up to 15 months (depending on its dimensions and details). From start to finish the carving is done using simple tools such as machetes, gouges and knives for finishing. The drying of the wood is a very important and drawn out step which is necesary to ensure the high quality of the finishes. Finally comes the fine symbolic detail of the old Zapotec worldview which adorn the piece from all angles and is a narration of the ancient Zapotec culture which is an important part of the daily life of the people of Oaxaca.