¡ Xoloitzcuintle soy !Posted: September 16, 2011
¡ 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