The xoloitzcuintle and corn in prehispanic culture | Xolos Ramirez

The dog, eternal companion of man, in this and the other world, has followed the Mexican peasant for decades to the lands of labor to help him as guardian of his crops and cattle. Its relationship with corn goes far beyond the mere fact of taking care of theft and avoiding the possible damage caused by other animals.


After the creation of man, in the age of the Fifth Sun, Quetzalcoatl, one of his creator and protector gods, was concerned, along with other deities, of the maintenance of the new being. Searching with what to provide them he found in his walk a red ant loaded with a grain of corn, he asked where he got it from. The ant, at first, did not want to tell him the place but later, at the divine insistence, at last he tells it. Then Quetzalcoatl becomes a black ant to go with the other to the place of maintenance and take out the corn.


He manages to make himself of the precious grain and take it to Tamoanchan, then the corn is chewed by the gods and placed in the mouth of man. The god responsible for feeding the human race is Xolotl, as mentioned by the Histoire de Mechique, whose chronicle - from the original Spanish version - is attributed to Fray Andrés de Olmos, who probably composed it in the year 1546:


"After they were made (the man and the woman), they were fed by a god called Xolotl, which means 'Gallos de Indias', which fed them with wet tortillas and not with milk." 


It is important to mention that Friar Gerónimo de Mendieta - Franciscan religious just like the previous one - also arrogates to Xólotl the nourishment of the new being but says that he sustains it with milk of thistle.

It is possible that the mud dog, found in Colima, in the cultural area that has been called West of Mexico, which has an ear on the muzzle, allegorically, refers to this mythical event: Xolotl, the dog god, twin of Quetzalcoatl, feeding and / or providing corn to man.


But the corn-dog relationship becomes more complex. The dog is also a sacrificial animal for the pediment of rains as it shows, for the center of Mexico, the chronicle written by Diego Muñoz Camargo, called Historia de Tlaxcala [4]. Likewise, the canid is used in various pre-Hispanic festivals such as those that mark the beginning of the Mayan year that Fray Diego de Landa mentions in their relationship. [5] With these examples, its link with agriculture and rain is evident.


Current research has sought to relate the reproductive cycle of the dog and the agricultural cycle of maize with the following results for the center and part of southeastern Mexico: the existence of litters in two different well-defined annual periods, that is, the presence of "Camadas" of dogs, when the seeding ends, litters of dogs, when the harvest ends [6]. Coincidence that, according to the authors, allowed the possession of the good, in this case the puppies, to be used in the different celebrations as food or as part of the ritual, either at the beginning of the year or as a request for rain before droughts.


We find maize intimately linked to the daily life of Mesoamerican man, because, in addition to being its food base, in the symbolic terrain it is related to death and rebirth. It was an element that, like the dog, represented fertility and prosperity.


The historian Enrique Florescano has identified the god of corn as one of the oldest representations of what would be Quetzalcoatl [7], cultural hero and benefactor of man in Mesoamerica, if we combine that Xolotl, the dog god was an advocación of the Serpent feathered in its passage to the underworld and the mesoamerican dog was given a relevant role in the transit of the dead to Mictlan, we find that the corn, the dog-Xolotl and Quetzalcoatl seem to have an important association in the symbolic land of thought of the ancient Mexicans.

Criadero de perros mexicanos Xoloitzcuintles en México "Xolos Ramirez"

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