Alebrijes are brightly colored Mexican folk-art sculptures of creatures of many sizes. Originally, alebrijes were created by carver Manuel Jimenez. It soon became so popular that other people from his town and a few other communities in Oaxaca began carving to have an extra income.
The first alebrijes, along with the invention of the term, originated with Mexico City cartonero Pedro Linares. Linares often told that in 1943, he fell very ill. While he was in bed unconscious, he dreamt of a strange place resembling a forest. There, he saw trees, rocks, and clouds that suddenly turned into something strange, and some kind of animals but unknown animals. He saw "a donkey with butterfly wings, a rooster with bull horns, and a lion with an eagle head", and all of them were shouting one word "Alebrijes! Alebrijes! Alebrijes!". Before this happened, he was already a cartonero artisan. Upon recovery, he began recreating these Chimera-like creatures that he had seen in cartonería, the making of three-dimensional sculptures with different types of papers, strips of papers and engrudo (glue made out of wheat flour and water).