Our DOG brooch inspired by Zemí Opiyelguabirán
Text by Taino Regalia
“The legend of Zemí Opiyelguabiran is an interesting one, as it combines elements of both divinity and the animal world.
This deity is said to have the strength and protection of a dog, but also connections to death. Often depicted with his 4 paws touching the floor.
It was believed he would watch over the souls of their deceased loved ones and guide them to the afterlife.
This Cemi has a human-like face and the body is mainly of a dog but with reptile features. The large mouth and rear end are very similar to a frog.
Tainos coexisted with a breed of mute dogs called Alcos, which they truly loved. Dogs were mainly companions to Caciques. Just look how it holds the same head crown worn by the Chiefs.”
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