Pre-Columbian, West Mexico, Colima, ca. 300 BCE to 300 CE. A hollow ceramic vessel in the form of a very portly Colima dog, one of the most famous of the classes of West Mexican shaft tomb culture artifacts. This little guy has a lively face, perky ears and tail, and a huge belly - having been fattened up to be dinner! His tail serves as the wide mouth of a vessel. Size: 14" L x 8" W x 10" H (35.6 cm x 20.3 cm x 25.4 cm)
Scholars know of at least two types of Colima dogs, one to be fattened up and ritually sacrificed or eaten and one to serve as a watchdog and healer of the ill. This plump hairless canine known as a Chichi or Escuintla is thought to be related to the Chihuahua or Mexican Hairless also known as the Xoloitzcuintle. The Xolo dog was named for the deity Xolotl, the God of the Underworld, and believed to guide the deceased as they journeyed to the afterlife. Colima vessels such as this one were buried in shaft tombs to protect the deceased and provide sustenance for eternity.
Provenance: private Los Angeles County, California, USA collection
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One leg has been repaired. Repair is well done and very difficult to see. Excellent manganese deposits and root marks on surface.