Dog days

Pasatiempo - - Mixed Media -

Per­haps it’s Hollywood’s fault that the horse is the an­i­mal most iden­ti­fied with Na­tive Amer­i­can tribal cul­tures. The hum­ble dog, how­ever, has a far more an­cient role in Amer­i­can In­dian life. Here in Santa Fe, Dody Fu­gate, a re­searcher at the Mu­seum of In­dian Arts and Cul­ture, has stud­ied ap­prox­i­mately 700 dog buri­als in the Four Cor­ners area, lead­ing her to con­clude that dogs were used in rit­u­als to help es­cort their own­ers to the next world. De­pic­tions of dogs show up in An­ces­tral Pue­blo and Mim­bres art, and his­tor­i­cal ev­i­dence shows that trained ca­nines were used by the peo­ple of South­west­ern tribes as weapons against Span­ish colonists. In honor of man’s best friend, the Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Na­tive Arts (108 Cathe­dral Place, 983-8900) has a new ex­hibit called Dog­gie Dog, which fea­tures paint­ings and pho­tos of dogs by Na­tive Amer­i­can artists. The show, which is in the Mu­seum Store and the Lloyd Kiva New Gallery, opens with a spe­cial dog-friendly re­cep­tion on Satur­day, Sept. 18, from noon to 3 p.m. in the mu­seum’s art park (en­ter via the gate on E. San Fran­cisco Street); dogs (ac­com­pa­nied by their own­ers) are wel­come. The re­cep­tion is free; the ex­hibit, which con­tin­ues through Oc­to­ber, is by mu­seum ad­mis­sion. For more in­for­ma­tion, call 983-1666.

Pe­dro Toledo: Un­ti­tled, 2010, acrylic on can­vas

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