vessel in form of a dog

Colima culture

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The art of ancient West Mexico comprises three distinct styles, named from the present-day Mexican states of Colima, Nayarit and Jalisco.

Ancient West Mexicans used a unique shaft-chamber tomb, an underground series of rooms reached by a narrow, vertical opening, or shaft.

The dead were surrounded by offerings of food and objects to aid them in the afterlife, including lively earthenware sculptures of people, animals and plants.

Colima sculpture has numerous versions of a breed of hairless dog that may have served as a guide to help the dead on their journey to the underworld.

Among the Colima and other peoples of Mesoamerican, dogs were a source of food.

Most Colima dogs are presented as fat and could have been intended as nourishment for the deceased.

Object Information

Colima culture
creation date
200 B.C.E. - 300 C.E.
slipped and painted earthenware
8 5/8 x 11 3/4 x 5 in.
accession number
credit line
Bequest of Clarence O. Hamilton
Public Domain
Native Arts of the Americas

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