The xoloitzcuintle: Sacred animal of pre-Hispanic Mexico
They say that the dog is man's best friend, but the xoloitzcuintli It goes much further.
It is an endemic breed of Mexico and is in the world about 7 thousand years.
And among the pre-Hispanic worldview, its meaning and symbolism was enormous.
He was able to protect the home he inhabited from evil spirits.
While the aztecs They considered them as healers and medicine helpers in cases such as rheumatism, asthma, or muscular ailments.
In addition to being guardian and companion in life and death.
It is currently an icon and cultural heritage of the country, but to get to this point the story is long.
an extraordinary mission
The nahuas and mayans they considered the xoloitzcuintle as a sacred animal, but why?
was related to Xolotl that for the Mexica He was the god of sunset, of transformation and who was represented with the body of a man and the face of a dog.
There is even a legend that tells that this divinity made the dog as a gift for men, that is, it has a divine touch.
And he was given an extraordinary mission, to accompany humans in the transit between life and death.
The belief indicated that the path to the Mictlan, the final destination of the deceased, consisted of nine underground strata or levels.
And the xolo, as it is called now, would be in charge of accompanying that journey.
Thus they turned this being into a fundamental guide for the journey that we all must make through the underworld.
From extermination to preservation
With the Spanish conquest they were almost exterminated, one because they used them as food and two, they wanted to end all native religious traditions.
Few specimens remained that, for a long time, had to live hidden.
It was not until about 1950 that important measures were taken for its conservation.
Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, among other artists, took them up again as a fundamental part of Mexican culture.
And so they continued on their way. His figure is also relevant in the Day of the Dead since the miscegenation fused Catholicism and ancient customs.
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