Dubbed “Spirits in Wood”, Animales Fantasticos is a Mexican Folk Art Gallery. It is represented through a series of hand carved Animal designs that would be right at home in Discovery Island in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Included in this walking tour is a shop where some of these items can be purchased.
The different carvings are on display in multiple museum displays. The displays are presented with different captions such as:
The spirits of these animals live in the wood. The artisan’s task is to set them free.
The sections are divided into different categories with descriptions in English and Spanish. The English descriptions are below:
The Beginning/Los Comienzos
Modern Oaxacan wood carving began less than fifty years ago. The first figures were crude wooden toys sold to tourists visiting the ruins of Monte Alban. These early works were often left raw or colored using traditional dyes. Over time, the carvers began to explore new themes and styles. A major transformation came about when most artisans began to use brightly colored latex paints to finish their figures.
The Land/La Tierra
Farming has long been the main occupation in Oaxaca. Carving was the farmer’s hobby – something to do while watching the herd. For inspiration, they need only look to their surroundings. Many of the carvers still consider themselves farmers first.
In Oaxaca, the Fiesta is an essential part of life. From the greatest community gathering (called the Guelauguetzel), to religious and national holidays, and numerous family celebrations everyone takes part in those events that keep tradition alive.
Another section is Folklore/El Folklore:
Since Pre-Columbian times, myths and folktales have played a dominant role in the lives of Oaxacans. Magic and reality coexist happily in their world. Artisans draw on these rich traditions to create figures like Nahuals – mythical humans that transform into animals after midnight.
TIMES GUIDE - OPENING/CLOSING
This location typically opens at 11 AM with the rest of World Showcase.