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Adorable Nayarit Pottery Platform - Nursing Pups

Pre-Columbian, West Mexico, Nayarit, ca. 300 BCE to 300 CE. A small and charming pottery figural tripod platform depicting a mother dog nursing her two large pups. The dogs all have thick red stripes of pigment adorning their bodies, outlined by black lines. All of the dogs have enormous pointed ears and short, perky tails. This type of figure shows a sweet domestic scene - or maybe an agricultural one! Size: 3" W x 2.5" H (7.6 cm x 6.4 cm)

Scholars know of at least two types of dogs from West Mexico, 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.

Condition: Intact, with manganese deposits overall, and remaining pigment.

Provenance: Ex-Harvey Collection, acquired prior to 1972

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