Colima Effigy Vessel of a Dog
Colima Effigy Vessel of a Dog

April 30, 2015: Colima Effigy Vessel of a Dog

Colima, West Mexico
Late Preclassic Period, C.A. 400 BCE - 300 CE
23 x 13 x 31.5 cm

The Colima Dogs were the most frequently depicted animal in Colima art and their effigies are prominently associated with the Western Mexico Shaft Tomb tradition. They are often represented as plump canines with short legs, a short broad neck, upright ears, and a docile demeanor. These features reflect that of the Mexican hairless dog which was fattened for consumption and possibly sacrifice. Religiously, the Colima dog is associated with the Aztec deity Xolotl, “Lord of the Underworld”, who aids the deceased in their journey into the afterlife. Ceramic dog figurines such as this one capture the spirit of human-canine symbiosis and serve as testament to the important role these animals played in the daily lives of the Colima.

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