Oaxacan Wood Carvings in Epcot's Mexico
One of the most beautiful and delightful parts of the Mexican Pavilion at Walt Disney World's Epcot has got to be "Animales Fantasticos." Located in the entrance hall of the Temple building, guests can't help but linger in the Gallery of Mexican Folk Art. This the collection of colorful Oaxacan woodcarvings, is both an enchanting display of skilled craftsmanship and a wonderful idea for a souvenir or gift for someone back home.
In the little village of Oaxaca, long ago, parents would tell their children fantastic stories of animals, angels and mythical beasts that lived within the forests. The spirits and animals loved to make mischief and so the children were warned to beware and steer clear.
The fantasy carvings at the Mexico Pavilion showcase a broad variety of creatures and celebrate the life and lore of the Mexican people. You can find spirits embodying the following subjects:
- Los Comienzos (The Beginning)
- Fiestas (Festivals)
- El Mar (The Sea)
- La Tierra (The Land)
- El Folklor (Folklore)
- Amigos (Friends)
- Los angeles y los santos (Angels and Saints)
- El dia de los muertos (Day of the Dead)
Take a few minutes and can watch the skilled craftsmen of the Jimenez family (the first family of Oaxacan woodcarving) practice their art as they release the unique spirits of animals, angels and mythical beasts that are embodied in each piece of wood. Manuel Jimenez is credited with turning this local craft into a world wide collectible phenomenon, and the Mexico Pavilion's art gallery is filled with carvings by him and his sons.
Have you stopped by to watch these skilled craftsmen release the spirits in the wood? Have you brought a beautiful carving home with you? Leave a comment and let me know what your favorites are!