Xoloitzcuintli

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The Xolo is native to Mexico. Archaeological evidence shows that the breed has existed in Mexico for more than 3,000 years.[3] Most likely, early forerunners of the Xolo originated as spontaneous hairless mutations of indigenous American dogs. Hairlessness may have offered a survival advantage in tropical regions. Indigenous peoples of Central and South America had Xolo dogs as home and hunting companions, and today they are still very popular companion dogs; even as the national dog of Mexico. Their value in ancient native cultures is evidenced by their frequent appearance in art and artifacts, for example, those produced by the Colima, Aztec and Toltec civilizations in Mexico. Xolos were considered sacred dogs by the Aztecs (and also Toltecs, Maya and some other groups) because they believed the dogs were needed by their masters’ souls to help them safely through the underworld, and also they were useful companion animals. According to Aztec mythology, the god Xolotl made the Xoloitzcuintli from a sliver of the Bone of Life from which all mankind was made. Xolotl gave this gift to Man with the instruction to guard it with his life and in exchange it would guide Man through the dangers of Mictlan, the world of Death, toward the Evening Star in the Heavens. Some people in Mexico continue to believe this breed has healing qualities. The Aztecs also raised the breed for their meat. Sixteenth-century Spanish accounts tell of large numbers of dogs being served at banquets. Aztec Merchant feasts could have 80-100 turkeys and 20-40 dogs served as food. When these two meats were served in the same dish, the dog meat was at the bottom of the dish, perhaps because it was held in higher regard or perhaps it was becoming consciously felt to be a step above cannibalism. The Aztecs did not eat much domesticated animals such as the Xolos and turkey. Over 90% of the bones found at sites are of deer that was hunted. When Columbus arrived in the Caribbean in 1492, his journal...
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