This is a genuine MUSEUM-CLASS Pre-Columbian vomit stick pendant attributed to the Colima Western Mexico Culture. It is carved of an extremely colorful spondylus shell in SUPERB preservation, depicting a figure of a dog in a curved pose. Known to exist in Mexico for more than 3,000 years, the Xolo (show-low) can justly claim the distinction as the first dog of the Americas. Some of the Pre-Columbian peoples believe dogs were the companions of the god of the underworld. Others believed that dogs guarded the souls of the dead as they traveled through the dangerous regions of the underworld. Dogs, like this one, were probably places in Colima tombs to accompany and guard the soul in the afterlife.
The curvature and point on the distal end is identical in form to vomit sticks of several different Pre-Columbian cultures where purging was part of ceremonial rituals. Just behind the shoulders of the figure is a prominent drilled hole for suspension to be worn as a pendant. Excellent carving detail and workmanship on this undamaged, superb specimen.
The animal most frequently depicted in Colima art is the hairless dog, known as the Techichi or Escuincle. It is believed to be a relative of the Chihuahua and/or the Mexican Hairless (Xoloitzcuintle). The word Xoloitzcuintle (pronounced show-low-eats-queen´-tlee) is derived from the name of the Aztec god Xolotl (twin brother of the god Quetzacoatl), and the Aztec word for dog, itzcuintli. Known to exist in Mexico for more than 3,000 years, the Xolo (show-low) can justly claim the distinction as the first dog of the Americas.
Many expressive ceramic sculptures of small, hairless, fat dogs have been found in tombs in Northwestern Mexico. There a culture known as Colima evolved around 2200 and 1500 years ago. The people of the Colima Culture valued their dogs, who were their companions, guardians and sometimes even their food.
Ancient stories illustrate the importance of dogs in Pre-Columbian culture. One story tells us of the first man who survived the great flood thanks to his friend—dog. Dog did everything for the first man including finding corn to eat and making fire.