These imaginative and brilliantly colored figures are hand-carved and painted in tiny villages in the state of Oaxaca, home of the Zapotec Indians in Southern Mexico. Oaxacan (pronounced Wa-Haw-Ken) wood carvings are whimsical and enchanting works of art that have captivated collectors and enthusiasts worldwide.
Each carving is an original work of art and no two pieces are identical. The sculptures are handmade from Copal wood from the hills surrounding the Oaxacan Valley using machetes and pocket knives. Artists carve the basic shape of a figure in a few days, then sand and meticulously hand paint each piece in great detail. It can take up to a full week to complete one sculpture.
The artists use fantasy and imagination in their painting to make the animals and creatures appear more alive.
There are limited supplies of carvings available at any given time, and it is possible that each piece may appreciate in value, as many of these figures become collector’s items.