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Ceremony for the Xoloitzcuintles

Anado McLauchlin y Richard Schultz

Ceremonia con los Xoloitzcuintles

Gabriela Brice y Marcia Dolce

By Karla Ortiz


On October 20, artist Isis Rodríguez inaugurated her second exhibit, About Sacred Dogs and their Shamans, at Nepantla Gallery.

On this occasion, as part of the exhibit opening, a ceremony was held to protect and pay tribute to the sacred dogs known as Xoloitzcuintles. The exhibit features approximately 10 new paintings representing the spirituality of these sacred dogs who “have accompanied man until death.”

Xoloitzcuintles are a Mexican breed of hairless dogs that have existed more than 3,000 years. Among the indigenous peoples of Mexico, the dog was considered a sacred animal and was frequently buried with the dead to accompany them to the afterlife.

Four of this type of dog were in attendance at the ceremony on Saturday to be purified and paid tribute as beings full of peace and joy who accompany their owners and know how to guide them toward good.

At the end of the event, a cocktail and a toasting took place to formally open the exhibition.

“I do not consider my exhibitions art exhibitions,” said Rodríguez. “They are events where people experience the Nepantla and the glory of being human.”

Rodríguez based her work on all that is known about these beings, creating paintings in which she expresses the crudest reality, such as still lifes with these little dogs, representing in her works the fact that in antiquity they are believed to have been cooked and ceremonially eaten. There were also other paintings that showed shamans with military helmets lined with branches of pirul, laurel, and basil, some of the most powerful and popular healing herbs commonly used in México.

“All of us have an ancestral trauma that history has given us, and I make my art as spiritual pieces one can hang on the wall as part of the healing process,” Rodríguez said, “one of the most beautiful abilities of human beings.”


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