Friday, September 6, 2013

Oaxacan Wood Carvings - Phantom Rabbit

Oaxacan Wood Carving (Alebrije): Phantom Rabbit (Nahual) - Son of Manuel Jimenez
Beyond the joy experienced from just looking at it, there is a deeper take-away you can get from this wood sculpture. What you are seeing here is work of art and collector’s item based on a rich and storied past.

This wood-carved rendering of a phantom rabbit, more properly known in Mexico as a "'Nahual' in the form of a rabbit," comes to us from small-town San Martin Arrazola, in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. The Nahual rabbit is a sort of trademark in the Jimenez family, as they have made many rabbits over the years with a human face. This piece, however, is a complete original because this is the first of its kind with the twist that they have now given it a "Day of the Dead" theme. Nothing of its kind has ever been made before! It was conceived by wood carving master, Angelico Jimenez, son of the late world-renowned Oaxacan original, Manuel Jimenez. He is not only known as the first individual to have made a living exclusively from the carving and painting of wood figures, but also the first to have dramatically transformed the Oaxacan wood carving tradition into what it is today.

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