Saúl and Alma Aragón Ramírez (http://blogs.sjsu.edu/casa/tag/alebrije-artisans-saul-aragon-ramirez/) are artisans from the town of Arrazola, Oaxaca. They create alebrijes. Alebrijes are elaborately decorated wood carvings that are made from the wood of copal trees. They typically are constructed out of one piece of the wood that most carvers will explain inspires them to draw the creature out of the wood.
When Saul was in Sacramento last fall presenting his art form for my college, some of the people who viewed and purchased his work wanted to have a hawk, our campus mascot.
Saul, Alma, one of their daughters, and I met for dinner one evening, and Alma and Saul presented me with this hawk to bring back to my college to share with the campus president and my colleagues. They told me they had been working on the piece since we last met: carving, sanding, curing, and painting it. And, they wanted me to carry it back as a gift, a symbol of our friendship. I accepted the treasure, the time and distance and camaraderie this stunning figure represents.