¡ Xoloitzcuintle soy !


¡ Xoloitzcuintle soy !

Xoloitzcuintle am I !

The Original Dog of The Americas


The Royal Dog of the Aztecs !

I am famed for my smooth skin,  my energy,

a playful mind and affectionate nature.

I have lasted to this day…


No other animal has stood – sunburnt –

atop the temple of Teotihuacán.

I have quivered beside immense, reclining Chac-Mool,

when his belly-bowl was full of fresh blood.

I have splashed in Xochimilco with royal maidens;

I have floated in salty Zumpango with wrinkled old priests.


I have tried to snatch the gold pellets tossed by my Master

when He plays patolli;   I have leapt for the ball

when it bounces off the buttocks of nobles engaged in

games of tlachtli.


I have licked the copal-xocotl from His divine ankles,

when Moctezuma emerged from His temazcal;

I have nuzzled His armpits inside His bed-chamber,

wearing my collar of quetzal plumes.


I have pricked my paws on metl thorns,

trying to sniff out chinicuiles to eat;  singed them

while stealing tlaxcalli off the comal.

I have lapped up pulque from my Master’s cup

– wobbled then fell down;  been bitten by nimble Coyote.


I have suckled pups at my own teats;

and my seed has reached the womb of

The Royal Bitch (La Perra Real).


¡ Soy Xoloitzcuintle !

For centuries I throve at the pinnacle.

I am the youthful spirit of the ancient world,

and though the centre has shifted,

neither do I dance at the periphery…

Escúchame – whoever you may be –

Let me teach you to live in the modern world…





Italicized words are in the Náhuatl (Aztec) language:


Xoloitzcuintle  –  lean, hairless dog, native to Mexico

– in Aztec religion, a gift to mankind from the god Xolotl

to guide the dead on the journey to the AfterLife.

“Xolos” were much-loved companion dogs, but

some were raised separately and plumpened

to be served at Aztec banquets.

patolli  –  board game involving gambling, played by the

Aztecs and the Mayans


tlachtli  –  skilful ballgame played on a stone court where

players bounce a natural-rubber ball weighing at least

5 lbs. (invention of the Olmec people) off their hips or

rear-ends – it is still played in the 21st century


copal-xocotl   –  the plant ‘saponaria americana’, the

root of which provided a sudsy soap


temazcal  –   stone sauna bath, often the size of a small house


quetzal  –  forest bird of Central America and Mexico, with

iridescent green (or green-gold) feathers


chinicuiles  –  highly-nutritious edible caterpillars

(still eaten in Mexico) that infest metl plants


tlaxcalli  –  flat maize bread, a daily staple of the Aztecs and

Mayans,  still eaten in Mexico and called by its Spanish

name, ” tortilla ”


metl  (maguey or agave)  –  Mexican plant of the “succulent”

family, used in the making of both pulque and tequila


comal   –  clay earthenware griddle placed over an open fire

– in use to this day – there is also a cast-iron skillet-like

version for the modern kitchen


pulque  –  milk-like alcoholic drink derived from fermented

sap of the metl plant – a ritual beverage of the Aztec

nobility and later a popular drink of the Mexican masses