Colima Sculpture of a Dog - SP.632,Origin: Mexico,Circa: 300 BC to 200 AD,Dimensions: 8.25" (21.0cm) high,Collection: Pre- Columbian,Style: Colima,Medium: Terracotta. One of the better-known Pre-Columbian artistic styles, “Colima” derives from Western coastal Mexico, dating between 300 B.C. and 600 A.D. The highly burnished surfaces of such early Colima ceramic pieces are distinguished by their color and characteristic spotted black patina. A particularly cherished subject of representation is the Colima dog, patterned after a hairless variety of ancient dog known as the Techichi. Some scholars have speculated that the Colima believed dogs were emissaries of Xolotl, the god of the dead. As such, dogs were envisioned as a guide to lead the spirits of the dead to their resting place in the underworld and such representational objects might have been interred with the deceased. Despite their possible connection with the dead, the representations of these dogs often take on a playful and charming demeanor in this mode of expression. Other scholars have noted that this variety of dog was bred as a delicacy. Thus, their frequent portrayal as exceedingly plump accentuates the humorous nature of such representations.
Ancient Central America & Mexico