The animal most frequently depicted in Colima art is the hairless dog, today known as the Chihuahua but called xoloitzcuintli (pronounced show-low-eats-kweent-lee) by the Aztecs of the fifteenth century. In addition to raising dogs as a food source, many peoples of highland Mexico believed that a dog accompanied a person’s soul on the journey into the underworld. Discovery of dog images in tombs suggests they were intended as companions for the deceased.
This vessel is modeled in the shape of a parrot, whose tail is fashioned as the vessel’s spout. Similar to the dog, the parrot may have had symbolic associations.
tags: bird, symbolism
Gift in memory of Dr. Franz Ebstein and Paul R. Villard