Oaxacan Woodcarvings Oaxacan woodcarvings have been a tradition for generations in several small villages outside the capital of Oaxaca, Mexico. Simple carving tools are used to create these figures out of copal wood. After drying and sanding, the carvings are painted. Each artist has their own style and set of designs and patterns that they used. Most are signed and some artists are highly collected. The woodcarvings range from the simple, humorous and whimsical to very complicated works of art. These figures arealso known as alebrijes.