Originally posted during winter 2015 – I’ve revised it to include more photos of recent collections.
Once again we departing for Mexico in a couple of weeks, leaving snow and slush behind – nothing these little Mexican hairless dogs would likely experience. Xoloitzcuintli, or Xolo for short, has been popular in Mexico for centuries. The dog was named by the Aztecs after Xolotl, the God of lightning and death.
These small effigies can be seen at street markets as freshly baked clay folk arts, and also nearly identical to the Xolos at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. The dog statues were buried alongside their masters to protect and guide them in the afterlife.
Now you can find Xolos as simple clay or embellished folk art pieces, such as the one on the left we discovered two years ago. This type of ceramics is created in Tonolá, a ceramics-centric town outside of Guadalajara. The artist, Chon Chon, signed their name on both of these fantastical creatures. Different from its sibling we found two years later on the right, they both have lively expressions on their faces.