Pre-columbian Colima Dogs

The animal most frequently depicted in Colima art is the hairless dog, known as the Techichi or Escuincle. It is believed to be a relative of the Chihuahua and/or the Mexican Hairless (Xoloitzcuintle).

The word Xoloitzcuintle (pronounced show-low-eats-queen´-tlee) is derived from the name of the Aztec god Xolotl (twin brother of the god Quetzacoatl), and the Aztec word for dog, itzcuintli.

Known to exist in Mexico for more than 3,000 years, the Xolo (show-low) can justly claim the distinction as first dog of the Americas.

The Colima Dog was known to have a variety of uses throughout its centuries of existence: food source, guardian to the dead, healer, watchdog. At least two different types of Colima dogs evolved: one to be fattened up and eaten or ritually sacrificed, and another type for a watchdog and healer of the sick.

Esteemed as protectors, Xolos were believed to safeguard the home from evil spirits as well as intruders. If the canine was a good guard dog, he would be kept and used as breeding stock. It is believed that, because of the tendency of the breed to make good watchdogs, the superior animals were used to produce stronger and larger animals–hence, today the size of the Mexican Hairless can weigh in at 60 lbs.

The Xolo held a place of special religious significance for many ancient cultures. Clay and ceramic effigies of Xolos date back over 3000 years and have been discovered in the tombs of the Toltec, Aztec, Maya, Zapoteca, and Colima Indians.

The famous pottery dogs of Colima provide evidence of the intricate bond which has existed between man and Xolo for centuries. All of these relics give testimony to the civilizations’ fondness for these wonderful dogs. They are truly a living link to the glory of these primitive cultures.

No Pre-columbian art collection is complete without one of these fantastic works of art! Contact us if you are looking to acquire a puppy for your collection!

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