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About Us


The David Hernandez workshop is a family business dedicated to the elaboration of tonas and nahuales for 50 years, being today, the third generation of artisans of this family. All its pieces are carved by hand with the inherited ancestral practice, its designs are based on codices and pre-Hispanic frets of Zapotec origin embodied in protective entities called tonas and nahuales, these elements represent the legacy of a tradition and way of life transmitted by parents and grandparents, over the years the workshop continues perfecting the techniques of carving and fine decoration with the aim of innovating, which is why at the David Hernández Workshop we are proud of our work.

A little of history about us

It all started in 1968 when Don Fabián Santiago Ortega, father of Margarita Santiago Hernandez, decided to dedicate himself to carving small wooden figures in the shape of animals, these figures were made of a very soft and moist wood called white copal, Don Fabian focused on these pieces that he began to decorate and then marketed. This was what prompted him to continue doing this art.

​Over time Don Fabian Santiago involved his family in this work, that is how his son-in-law Don Crescencio Hernandez became interested in his father-in-law's work and over the years he learned the art of carving copal, little by little. they were marketing alebrijes with clients from different regions, adapting to their tastes, ideas and designs.


Don Crescencio Hernandez was in charge for 20 years until the moment he inherited the taste for work to his son David Hernandez Santiago. To this day, the master craftsman David Hernández, supported by his family, is in charge of the workshop with the desire to continue and rescue the ancestral practice of carving tonás and nahuales, which according to the Zapotec worldview are animals that mark our lives when we are born. , in the pre-Hispanic calendar there are twenty tonas: RATTLESNAKE, JAGUAR, EAGLE, OWL, BUTTERFLY, OPOSSUM, TURTLE, MONKEY, COYOTE, DOG, RABBIT, ARMADILLO, DEER, FISH, CENZONTLE, SNAIL, CHAMALEON, HUMMINGBIRD, IGUANA AND FROG. His contribution to this family legacy is to innovate the style of painting and carving, proposing and perfecting techniques, adding meaning to each stroke, but always keeping intact the custom that everything must be done by hand.


Our workshop has the mission of contributing in the promotion of handicrafts of our region and the culture of Oaxaca through the expression of a handmade ancestral art. Promoting the small rural family industry, spreading the artistic activities of our region and respecting the forms of organization, uses and traditions in our processes.


The David Hernández workshop has as vision to be the best alebrijes production and export workshop in the state of Oaxaca, being recognized for the quality and fine finish of our products, guaranteeing the satisfaction of our customers through the development of handicrafts with quality and social responsibility.

October 8th Street S/N,
San Martin Tilcajete, Oaxaca.
Monday to Sunday:
8:00 am - 6:00 pm


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