The Techichi is an ancestor of the Chihuahua, which is said to have once lived in Central and South America. It is said that this dog was loved by local Indians, but it is said that it became extinct due to the invasion of Europeans. Techichi is now said to be extinct, unfortunately. At the time when it is said to have existed, there was no technology such as photography or video, so we can’t see it now. But we can guess.
The Techichi is said to be the ancestor of the Chihuahua, so it is expected to be a small dog. It weighed less than 10 kg and was originally considered a small dog. They are about twice the size of Chihuahuas, but share many of their physical characteristics. It had a slim body like a fox, with a slender body and long legs. It also had long erect ears and a drooping tail. There are several types of body colors, and it is said that there were brown, black, white, and even mixed colors. It is known that Techichi was bred as a domestic dog, permeated into the culture of indigenous peoples, and was deeply involved with humans as a playmate for children. Also known as a dog that does not bark, it is known to have a gentle and friendly personality.
Techichi is said to live mainly in South America, but there is a theory that it also inhabited Mexico and was kept as livestock by local residents. When an archaeologist unearthed an ancient burial shaft in Colima, Mexico, he found statuary pots and carvings dating back to 300 BC, depicting a dog very similar to a Chihuahua. For this reason, it is said that Techichi was first bred in Mexico, rather than in South America. Either the Maya or the Toltec are said to have domesticated the Techichi first.
The exact origin of techichi is unknown, as no one knows. In 2013, the Stockholm University of Technology published a study on the ancestry of dog breeds. Research has shown that 30% of Chihuahua DNA can be traced to non-American breeds. Additionally, the majority of Chihuahua DNA matched South American samples. South American samples can be traced back to an ancient dog breed called the Techichi.
As pointed out above, Techichi is said to have first been bred in Mexico. It is presumed that they adapted to human society and were bred widely because they had a personality of being attached to people and playing with children. Not only that, but the Mayans viewed dogs as guardians of the afterlife and used them in burial rituals and as a food source. Mayan cultures often buried dogs with their owners, believing that their companions would join them in the afterlife. The Mayan civilization began to decline in 800, and by 900 the Toltecs were born. Like the former, the Toltecs also domesticated dogs for food and sacrifice purposes.
Then came the Aztecs. The Aztecs built Tenochtitlan in 1325. It is said that the Aztecs followed the Toltec civilization and continued to domesticate Techichi. The Aztecs sacrificed humans in blood-giving ceremonies to appease their gods. When humans were unavailable, the Aztecs sacrificed Techichi. This culture was recorded in diaries by Europeans who later invaded, and they wrote about the culture of sacrificing small dogs.
In medieval Europe, there were Seljuk Turks and Ottoman Turks in the east, so they saw the possibility of overseas development and entered the Age of Discovery. Then Central America and South America were discovered and the natives were conquered by the Spaniards. As a result, the society that coexisted with Techichi, which had continued since ancient times, collapsed. Local residents died one after another due to excessively harsh hard labor, and Techichi also lost their owners due to the introduction of a large number of black slaves from Africa.
reason for extinction
Due to colonization by Europeans, the living environment changed dramatically, and Techichi, who lost their owners, came to be preyed on by Europeans. Techichi became extinct as population numbers dwindled. If the owner disappears and they are preyed on, of course they will never be able to survive. Therefore, it can be said that it was inevitable that Techichi would become extinct from the historical background at that time.
In the 1800s, we know that a kind of Techichi was introduced to America from Mexico. This allowed Techichi to live longer. The dog that was brought back at this time is said to have descended from the Techichi, and by crossbreeding it with another dog, it became the Chihuahua. Therefore, it is generally accepted that the ancestor of the Chihuahua is the Techichi.
Are Maltese ancestors of Chihuahuas?
It is generally accepted that the Techichi is the ancestor of the Chihuahua, but there is also a theory that the Chihuahua originated in Europe, particularly Malta. There once lived in Malta a small dog known as the Maltese Pocket Dog. This dog had definite similarities with the Chihuahua. Another piece of evidence of him linking this dog to the Chihuahua is in the Sistine Chapel. In 1482 the Italian painter Botticelli completed the frescoes on the second section of the south wall. Known as “The Trials and Calls of Moses,” this vibrant fresco depicts a boy holding a small dog that bears a striking resemblance to a modern-day Chihuahua. Chihuahuas may have originated in Europe.