This weekend several giant alebrijes will parade along Mérida’s Centro.
Alebrijes are brightly colored Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical mythical creatures. Though originally made only of paper-mâché, wooden variations have also become popular since the 1940s.
The event is organized by Subhro AC, a local nonprofit organization promoting the arts, culture, and sustainable community development.
The parade will take place on Oct. 30 and kick off at 5 p.m in Mérida’s Plaza Grande. It will then move up Calle 60 until turning on Paseo de Montejo’s remate and then continue on to the Monumento a la Patria.
After the parade has finished, the giant alebrijes will be on exhibition on Paseo de Montejo for 15 days.
Though this is the first time such a parade will be held in Mérida, similar events have been popping up around Mexico over the past decade or so.
Alebrijes were first created by the Mexican artist Pedro Linares, who before his big breakthrough had specialized in making piñatas and carnival masks. The idea to invent alebrijes came to him during an intense fever dream set in a forest full of unnaturally colored creatures with many wings, horns, and bulging eyes.
Linare’s bizarre creations soon began to take off and even caught the attention of Mexico’s most famous artists, including Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.
Today alebrijes of varying sizes and quality can be found across Mexico but have become closely associated with Oaxaca. The price of alebrijes can vary widely, but large highly detailed pieces or ornate sets often go for hundreds or even thousands of dollars.