Pre-Columbian, West Mexico, Jalisco, Protoclassic period, ca. 100 BCE to 250 CE. A lovely ensemble of two hollow-cast and highly-burnished pottery puppies, each with four attenuated legs and a perky tail. The smaller dog is depicted standing with a stocky torso, tail curled up onto its back, and an opening atop the minimalist head, all colored with a pale-orange slip. The larger tan-gray hued dog rests upon a corpulent belly with splayed back legs, with dark fire-clouded areas on its back, and an indented head that humourously resembles an anteater. A lovely study on different forms of playful pottery puppy dogs! Size of largest (tan-gray color): 7.625" L x 4.125" H (19.4 cm x 10.5 cm).
Scholars know of at least two types of Jalisco/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 New York, New York, USA collection; ex-private Nevada, USA collection; ex-Dr. David Harner collection, Arkansas, USA, acquired 1950s-1960s, items #131 and no #. Exhibited at the Marjorie Barrick Museum, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), 1980s and late 1990s
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