Mexican representations of the Xoloitzcuintle through History | Xolos Ramirez

The first known representations of the xoloitzcuintle are the funerary vessels called "dogs of Colima", clay figures, orange-reddish, found in the shooting tombs of Western Mexico, whose symbolic charge is associated with the passage of man to Underworld, in allegory of the journey made by the God Quetzalcoatl in search of the bones of the giants to create the new man [1]. The marked wrinkles, the visibility of the spine in these pieces, have been some of the characteristics taken into account to identify them with these Mesoamerican dogs.


Quetzalcoatl on his way to the kingdom of Mictlantecuhtli becomes the god Xolotl to perform the feat and get away with it [2]. Xolotl, the dog god, is the one who, according to Nahua mythology, is responsible for feeding newly created men [3]. He is also the representative God of fertility, good luck and a calendar day of good fortune for newborns [4].


A probable shaggy dog is the one that appears in the Madrid Codex forming part of a ceremony that in colonial times was described by Fray Diego de Landa for what is now the Mayan zone of Yucatan [5]. Also in the Florentine Codex (of Sahagún informants), we have the illustration of a xoloitzcuintle dog.


Shortly after, the work of Francisco Hernández (16th century) is elaborated: Natural History of New Spain [6], whose illustrations show a xoloitzcuintle accompanied by other types of dogs. Subsequently a long time lapse occurs without any representation. Until this same image is taken by Francisco Javier Clavijero (18th century) for his Historia de Antigua de México, in whose prologue he says the following: "The figures of the flowers and animals are in the majority a copy of those of Hernández "[7].


It is during the second half of the 19th century when the xoloitzcuintle reappears as part of a political caricature related to the Plan de Tuxtepec, by the engraver José Guadalupe Posada, in which a coffin is guarded by four starving xoloitzcuintles and, in the first half of the twentieth century, with a linoleum (1944) by Gabriel Fernández Ledezma, corresponding to the nationalist period of our country, where the figure of the can is seen in front of a rural house, decorated with plants such as nopalillo, a dish and a bone .


As for mural painting, Diego Rivera is in charge of immortalizing it in the National Palace [8] and the Secretariat of Public Education, as well as in the disappeared Hotel del Prado [9]. Later Juan O'Gorman would do the same on one of the walls of the Castillo de Chapultepec with the mural called La Independencia Nacional (1961).


In easel painting we have, in an outstanding way, the one made by Frida Kahlo [10]. For the second part of the 20th century, Raúl Anguiano and the Oaxacans Rufino Tamayo and Francisco Toledo take it as an important cultural element in his paintings. Anguiano doing works inspired by his Taijin xoloitzcuintle; Toledo with its very particular way of turning animals into erotic objects [11] - among them the xolo - and Tamayo with a series of dogs, some of which remind, by their characteristics, to the xoloitzcuintle [12].


Also throughout the 20th century we find the names of several photographers who, by portraying artists and intellectuals of the time, have helped to preserve the image of the Mexican dog, among which stand out Lola Álvarez Bravo, Gisèle Freund, Guillermo Zamora, Héctor García, Mariana Yampolsky and Graciela Iturbide and very recently, thanks to the photos found in the Blue House of Coyoacán, we can include Frida Kahlo herself.


Between the last decade of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st century, an increasingly large group of plastic artists have occupied the xoloitzcuintle as a center of creation. In the sculpture we find very good filmmakers, one of the best known is Federico Canessi, whose work dedicated to the xoloitzcuintle can be admired in the Museo Dolores Olmedo Patiño, in La Noria, Xochimilco, D.F. Likewise, the sculptor Sergio Peraza [13] has created a whole series of pieces inspired by the xolo using different materials, besides making several drawings and being possessor, and diffuser of the xoloitzcuintle race; Carol Miller, American artist, who has dedicated some of his pieces to these dogs. And of course, the fantastic xolos of Andrés Medina [14] where the stylized images of the Mexican dog are present for the admiration of locals and strangers alike.

As for canvases, we have artists like Gustavo Santos [15], whose work faithfully portrays these special dogs, expressing the particularities of each of them. Omar Padilla [16] has captured them in several fabrics with a flavor of the rural Mexican community. Darío Mijangos [17] has created a large number of paintings where he is portrayed, not only the dog itself, but the love for the xoloitzcuintles that he has had throughout his life.


The conjunction between the admiration of Frida Kahlo and several symbolic elements that shape the national, we have in the pictorial work of David Flores [18]. His Fridas accompanied by dogs from Colima renew the Mexican flavor.


Now that if we want to see these dogs from the mystical and historical perspective, there is nothing better than the works of Cuahutlatohuac H. Xochitiotzin [19] a native painter from Tlaxcala, whose works include the mural he made for the Canófila Mexican Federation, called The dog xoloitzcuintle in ancient Mexico, as well as a series of puppies with flowery engravings on their backs.


The comic has also been translated into the xoloitzcuintle. One of them is Dance of Conquest [20] published by the Spanish publisher Norma, where a xolo-human is the main character. This work is a trilogy made by Raúl Treviño that deals with an anthropomorphic rebellion to achieve the equality of all beings in a kind of parallel world, in which life is given-in the form of characters-to the Mesoamerican fauna.


The image of the xoloitzcuintle has also been wanted to commercialize, one of the most finished products, in that aspect, is Xico of the authorship of Cristina Pineda; of him we can find figures decorated with multiple designs, sculptures, decks and a comic where he is accompanied by the Son of the Saint, as well as chocolates: some come out of a contest of high pastry and another elaborated by The Crown. In this same commercial land is the logo of the football team Xoloitzcuintles de Tijuana.

But the representations that have been made of the xoloitzcuintle do not end there. Young graphic designers have resumed and become the protagonist of his work. His interesting works are scattered on the internet. Making a count of them are:


A young cartoonist from Colima who calls herself Pinkscooby54 [21]. His work attracts a lot of attention since he made them taking as a model the dogs of Colima made in mud.


Christian Xavier Álvarez Robles [22] is another case. This young artist from Cozumel, Quintana Roo, has created a series of characters among which is Xitlo, a xoloitzcuintle. But his creative work did not stop there, because I also believe a puppet of the xoloitzcuintle dog.


In another perspective is Darksilvania [23] who, in the style of the PoKemon series, performs a xoloitzcuintles who names Xolombrius Dark / Ghost. It does the same with the chihuahueño.


The video has also been used as a means to represent the xoloitzcuintle. In this area there are two independent realizations: Xolo the dog [24], created by Noiselab Motion, punk dog, - descendant of a xoloitzcuintle dynasty originally from Colima - that after escaping from the zoo of Chapultepec where he lived in captivity, it becomes a whole character defying authority; and on the other hand, the proposal of Juan Hernández, who along with Cecilia Estrada produced the short film called Tepehuani Xoloitzcuintle or Xoloitzcuintle Vencedor [25], which highlights the vicissitudes that the dog had to go through to survive the Spanish conquest.


Although the xoloitzcuintles can be represented in the pokemon style, be a sculpture or painting; we also find them in a cartoon feature film, as is the case of Carlos Kuri's first film, Heroes Verdaderos (2010), where one of these dogs represents Ahuatzin, a mascot of the indigenous family of the film. This film is set within the struggle for the independence of Mexico and the existing conflict between the different castes of New Spain society.


All the above shows that the image of the xoloitzcuintle has a continuum throughout the history of Mexico and that it is still valid because, the Mexicans are interested in it, since it is part of their culture, what they feel is their own. What more verification than the recreations that are made of it?

Criadero de perros mexicanos Xoloitzcuintles en México "Xolos Ramirez"

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  • #1

    Sofía (jueves, 20 febrero 2020 10:07)

    Hola amiga