This finely crafted sculpture was hand carved and hand painted by husband-and-wife artists Nestor and Leticia Melchor, in their home workshop in the village of San Martin Tilcajete, Mexico. San Martin Tilcajete is located in Mexico's southeastern state of Oaxaca, where the rugged and isolated terrain has aided in the survival of rich indigenous cultures, many of which have disappeared elsewhere in Mexico. Meticulously painted in the artists' signature style, this piece displays a mosaic of Zapotec culture and symbolism. Each stroke of paint has been carefully applied, evoking in the viewer an appreciation for the patience, precision and lifelong craftsmanship that went into creating such a magical piece.
This piece includes three Zapotec symbols: the Beenda (sneak), the Templo and the Kalli (home). Alebrijes from artist Nestor and Leticia Melchor often incorporate symbols from the Zapotec, a pre-columbian civilization that flourished in the Oaxacan valley. The Zapotec were contemporary to the Aztecs, with whom they shared gods, commerce, culture and conflicts.
The piece is signed and accompanied by a certificate of genuineness from the artists. It was carved from a single piece of copal wood, which is local to Oaxaca, and painted with mineral pigments and acrylic paint.