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Pre-Hispanic style pottery dog

In Mesoamerican Mexico, humans observed the various characteristics of animals and classified them. Categories were assigned to animals, as spiritual beings, protectors, animals of cold, etc.  In this manner, Mesoamerican cultures expressed the attributes and relationship to animals through ceramics. This was a way to manifest their beliefs through a vessel in the form of an animal, based on special circumstances. 

Clay Pottery dogs

Numerous pottery figures of dogs have been found as part of offerings in ancient human burials in Mexico. These pottery dog figures could be seated, standing, playing, or embracing. Some have a human mask. It is believed that these figures of dogs guided the spirit of their deceased in their long journey to the underworld. 

Recently, 19 specimen pottery remains were discovered in the Teopancazco site. This site is located, inside the Pre-Hispanic city of Teotihuacan, about 48 kilometers from present-day Mexico City). The remains appear to be related to ritual activities and artisan use.

This clay pottery dog looks like the clay vessel dogs found in ancient tombs in Mexico.

This dog has upturned ears and tail, a fat belly, and smooth skin like the Mexican hairless dog.

One type of domestic dog in Mesoamerica was characterized by short legs.

Mexican Ceramic/Pottery Artists

Presently, skilled Mexican artists create Pre-Hispanic style dogs and other animal pottery figures from clay.

For an artist to make a piece like a Pre-Hispanic dog, this takes time, skill, and knowledge.  

Learn more about skilled Mexican ceramic artists and artisans below:

Guillermo Rios Alcala

Rafael de Jesús Hernández

Tlachihual Ollin Artesanía de barro Tlachihual Ollin – Inicio | Facebook

Estilo Mexicano http://Perros Tlalchichis bailando – Estilo Mexicano


Below is an activity for youth that can be downloaded for educational purposes.

Pre-Hispanic Dog Pottery Youth Activity

Author: AllGoodsOnline