Artistic representation of the Aruban ceramic dog figure
Their value in ancient native cultures is evidenced by their frequent appearance in art and artifacts. Archaeological evidence has been found in Mexico (Colima) dating similar dogs to over 3500 years ago. Long regarded as guardians and protectors of the upper world as well as in the underworld. Amerindians believed that the Xolo would safeguard the home from evil spirits as well as intruders. Ceramic representations of the Xolo, known as Colima Dogs, have been found in hundreds of burial sites. In ancient times the Xolos were often sacrificed and then buried with their owners to act as guide to the soul on its journey to the underworld. They have been found in burial sites of both the Maya and the Toltec.
These dogs were considered a great delicacy, and were consumed for sacrificial ceremonies–including marriages and funerals. Most likely, these pre-European dogs originated as spontaneous hairless mutations of indigenous American dogs. Hairlessness may have conferred a survival advantage in tropical regions. Indigenous peoples of Mexico had Xolo dogs as home and hunting companions. These dogs have survived and today they are still very popular companion dogs. They are also the national dog of Mexico.
Newly born Xoloitzcuintle , the Mexican hairless
This same mithical atibutions are given to this canine the now officially recognized as a Peruvian Heritage, the Peruvian viringo, Peruvian hairless dog, Calato dog, chimú or viringo dog is a breed of hairless dog and usually used as a companion animal.
The peruvian hair less
The National Institute of Culture of Peru ordered the location of Peruvian hairless dogs in museums and sites that have the necessary conditions that allow the natural development and breeding of this species.
Representations of this specimen appear in ceramics of different pre-Inca cultures, such as Vicús, Mochica, Chancay, with Tiahuanaco influence, Sicán and Chimú.
The Incas way or in Quechua they called theire dog “kaclla”. The name viringo seems to be the original name used by the Moches or Mochicas, whose descendants to this day name them so.
These dogs played an important role in the customs and myths of the Incas. The chronicles of the time of the Spanish conquest and the Viceroyalty testified to the presence of the Viringos. The country people kept the dog without hair, associated with their own culture and used it for medicinal purposes.Due to the lack of hair, this breed keeps your body warmer to protect you from the environment.
Pedro Weiss points out in his research that the hairless dog of Peru genetically has an ectodermal hypoplasia syndrome, which means that it has warm skin that when it comes into contact with human skin can heat it, which has been the basis for attributing medicinal properties , for example to relieve rheumatism.
There are those who have attributed to the Peruvian dog the ability to avoid allergies, bronchial problems and asthma, since he has no hair that could cause respiratory problems, nor fleas or ticks, since they have nowhere to nest.
Caquetio mute hunting dogs
The local ceramic dog face
Evidance shows that these particular type of dogs where very popular, since it is believed that our natives also had their own hairless mute hunting dog, for hunting and for the protection against bad spirits and omens. I have seen local ceramic pieces that most probably are original Dabajuroide work that very much resable a hairless mute hunting dog. I have managed to take a few pictures in the 1990`s of some small pieces from a local private collector and that served as inspiration for a work. q
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