Project Xulo - July 2022


Welcome to the Project Xulo newsletter, a semi-annual bulletin for our friends and supporters. Expect project insights and updates, and a close look up into our journey researching and documenting the history and evidence of canids in the Americas and their relationship with humanity, from the first cultures to the present day.

First semester of 2022

Over the last few months we've been engaged in our research process, doing tons of reading, studying pieces, and documenting our findings. Here are some highlights of our achievements and progress:

Scientific paper

One of our main achievements for the first quarter of 2022 was submitting our first scientific paper about our research on dogs in the Americas. The paper is titled: "Canids from the Gran Nicoya region, Costa Rica. Part one: Pleistocene dog (Canis lupus familiaris) at the Nacaome site and prehispanic coyote (Canis latrans) from Jícaro, Guanacaste", and is signed by Project Xulo team members Guillermo V. Jiménez, Myrna Báez Sirias, and Raúl Valadez Azúa. This work contributes to Dr. Valadez's theory regarding the chronology and distribution of canis familiaris in the Americas. We eagerly look forward to its approval and publication in the coming months.

Dr. Raúl Valadez in his Laboratory of Palaeozoology at National Autonomous University (UNAM), Mexico.

Line of Research:

The Governor Lady of Masaya

Script: Guillermo V. Jiménez

Researchers: Myrna Báez, Guillermo V. Jiménez 

No decisions were made without her consent. She was not a pyramid woman. Her thing was volcanoes. A dignitary that no cacique could interrupt, they had to wait for their turn. They brought her offerings that would pile up and break, and dishes of the highest local cuisine.

 Ceramic from the archaeological collection of the Museum of Jade and Pre-Columbian Culture of the National Insurance Institute. Collections of the Archaeological Heritage of Costa Rica.

Such was her knowledge, insight and esteem that she had the last word in the assembly or monéxico, as they called it in the Chorotega language, with the principal lords. This assembly was held in the plaza inside the main crater of the Masaya Volcano. She was a person of knowledge about what mattered to them: weather, politics, economics, crops, rainy times, resources.

When she became aware of the Spanish invasion, she refused to continue receiving the caciques, she told them that the Christians were bad and that until they left and expelled from the land, she did not want to see them as she used to.

One of the main characteristics of the Lady of Masaya was her teeth filed to look like a dog, and her non-negotiable dignity. A Governor.

 Archaeological example of dental modification to an individual from the Tamtoc archaeological site, San Luis Potosí, with the intention of looking like a canid. In representations this practice is shown in characters that have been interpreted as important and knowledgeable in the pre-Hispanic societies of Mesoamerica and Greater Nicoya.

See you next quarter! Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter, if you haven't already, and follow us on social media to accompany us in our research and never miss our updates.

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We are actively looking for sponsors and collaborators for our project. This support is essential to keep Proyecto Xulo up and running. Help us spread the word and do not hesitate to contact us for more information.