Monday, October 21, 2019

The March of the Bizarre Creatures

For the last thirteen years the Museum of Popular Arts in Mexico City has sponsored the Parade of Monumental Alebrijes, an event which kicks off the Day of the Dead season in the city.

I have explained many times here what an "alebrije" is, but in case you are new to this blog I will give you some background information again.  The "alebrije" was the creation of a Mexico City folk artist by the name of Pedro Linares in the 1930s.  Linares was seriously ill for a while, and in his feverish sleep he dreamt of strange creatures like donkeys with butterfly wings or roosters with bull horns.  The animals were all crying out the nonsense word, "Alebrije!".  When he recovered, Linares began recreating these creatures out of cardboard and papier mache, and a new form of folk art was born.  Later artisans in Oaxaca began creating similar creatures carved from wood.

The Alebrije Parade in Mexico City had around 200 entries created by artists and local organizations.  Like the originals by Linares, these are made of cardboard and papier mache.  The figures are large... some are as tall as 13 feet... and they are wheeled through the streets of Mexico City from the Zócalo to the Independence Monument on the Paseo de la Reforma.

This was my third time to watch the parade.  As always, it was a festive, colorful event.  Here are a few videos and photos which I took of last Saturday's event...