Dog

Colima

Mexican

Dog, ca. 100 BCE–250 CE

  • On View

Terracotta

Dimensions: 8 3/4 × 10 1/2 × 11 in. (22.2 × 26.7 × 27.9 cm)

Gift of Genevieve and Richard Shaw, by exchange, 2011.329

This vessel is in the form of a Mexican hairless dog—one of the oldest breeds of dog in existence today dating back as far as 3,300 years. This dog vessel was once part of a burial offering, and the figure would have been considered an important companion to the deceased in their travels into the afterlife. It is believed that the dog performed the task of guiding the dead on an obstacle-filled journey across a mystical river to reach the spirit world.

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