Dog-form Bowl

200 B.C.-A.D.300

Object

Culture

Locale

Country

Style/Tradition

Object Info

Object: bowl
Not currently on view
Object ID: 1969.314

Medium/Technique

Earthenware with colored slip

Credit

Gift of May D&F Co. in honor of David Touff

More Info

Dimensions

height: 11.5 in, 29.2100 cm; width: 19 in, 48.2600 cm; diameter: 11.5 in, 29.2100 cm

Department

Mayer Center of Ancient American Art

Collection

Ancient American Art

Extended Info

Dog-form Bowl
Colima, Comala style
200 B.C.–A.D. 300
Mexico, Colima
Earthenware with colored slip
Gift of May D. & F. Co. in honor of David Touff, 1969.314

Large, hollow ceramic figures and vessels from Colima in West Mexico are characterized by naturalistic modeling and smoothly polished red surfaces.  Potters manufactured both human figures and a variety of animal species, including ducks, parrots, armadillos, turtles, and crustaceans.  Most popular of all were ceramic dogs, generally represented with large heads, rotund bodies, and short, stout legs.  Dogs were eaten as a food in ancient Mexico, so ceramic dogs may have been placed in tombs as sustenance for the afterlife.  This example also functioned as a wide-mouthed jar, probably for serving liquids.  In addition, dogs were widely believed to guide and protect the souls of the deceased, making ceramic dogs fitting tomb offerings.