Festival Internacional del Xolo – Celebrating our Colima Dog

As the title suggests, this weekend concluded our first international festival of our Xoloscuintle – otherwise know as the Colima Dog. The xolo is thought to be the oldest dog in mesoamerica and you can’t go anywhere in Colima without seeing it depicted, usually in red pottery, and even in a traffic circle in Colima City:

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To find out more about the history of this wonderful dog that was worshipped, used as food, used as protection and also sometimes buried with their owners to provide guidance in the next world, you can click on the link here:

http://www.mexonline.com/history-hairlessdog.htm

 

In the meantime, welcome to the Festival:

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When I arrived at the Jardín Libertad in Colima, I noticed an explosion of paper flowers, giant posters and photos and a proliferation of giant statues of the Xolo.    Flower-covered archways lead to the fountains and the gazebo.

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The plaque states: Colima Dogs. The figure is emblematic of the State of Colima. Significance: The transmission of knowledge from an older dog to a young dog. Generational struggle. 

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On Saturday, I did not make it in time for any events, but did see families walking with their dogs. Many breeds of dogs, but mostly the xolo, for whom this festival was named. I had never seen one in real life, only the pottery one and statues, so I was amazed at the fact that they truly are hairless, some only having wisps of hair on top of their heads or at the end of their tails.

Upon reading about them, I find that their body temperatures are higher than other breeds of dogs, perhaps as compensation for not having hair to protect them from the cold. They also make good pets for people with allergies; since they have no hair, they have no fleas or other vermin, nor, I imagine, dander.

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In addition to the displays, there was a small kitchen set up with chairs and tables where you could buy something to eat and drink, decorated with Catrinas, of course.

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One of the things I missed was the running of the obstacle course,  but it was still set up from earlier in the day, with obstacles of various sizes to accommodate the dogs who are also of various sizes.

IMG_5433   The next day, I left Cofradía at 6:30am to make sure I had plenty of time to find a place to park and then catch a taxi to the Jardín.

The first order of the day was a 3K race. You could race with any breed of dog that you liked, and after the race, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners were presented with ceramic statues of the Colima Dog.

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IMG_5366And then photos were taken of all the participants, human and canine…It was certainly a job trying to get all the dogs to pose at the same time…..

IMG_5391IMG_5390IMG_5387After everyone had an hour to rest and have some breakfast, the xolos were exhibited and judged according to their behavior and body type. It was amazing to me, how they could hold a pose…

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And then they all posed for a final group photo…

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IMG_5425And –  group photo time!

So this concludes my experience at the Internation Festival of the Xolo.

Until next time, you all have yourselves a great week!   ¡Adiós!

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