Jimmy - Canis Boriqua - Boricua Dog
Lookin' good, perro
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n the time of the Taínos, on the Island of Borikén, there lived a young cacique, or noble child, named Arasibo. Arasiba would later run the Yucayeque in the area of río Abacoa. He was known as a fair leader and as well as a passionate collector of birds. It is also said that as a child he had a very special pet, who’s description comes down to us in the form of a Cemi, or an artistic and religious sculpture made of wood or stone. While Arasiba’s pet died during his childhood, he continued to search for the rest of the species.

Prior to the visit of Christobal Colón in 1493, Puerto Rico was not known to have a native dogs species. However the Cemis representing Arasiba’s pet indicates that a very special breed of dog did in fact inhabit the island. The Boricua Dog is said to be around two to three feet long with a pointy snout and a high arched back. Its eyes were hollow, with clear pupils to allow it to hunt in the dark and its long slender tail was of great aid in balancing while walking in trees.

Little has been written about the Boricua Dog since the Taínos did not keep a written history and so many died due to disease and battle during the colonialization of Ponce de Leon in 1509.

In 2003, a strange animal surfaced in the south Bronx. It was slate grey, with large pupil-less eyes and a distinct fur pattern. On its belly, the image of the Puerto Rican flag could be seen. As well, the strange animal named jimmy, was clearly a proud beast and ready to battle if treated poorly. Unfortunately, Jimmy suffered an attack late one night while out taking a stroll around the neighborhood. It was not know how old Jimmy was, but scientists think that he could have been around twenty to twenty five years old.

Many historians are still in awe trying to figure out how a Boricua Dog could have survived so many years without being identified? Still a bit of a mystery, this last example of the Boricua Dog, known as Jimmy, is in the permanent collection of Jerry Acevedo.

Jimmy wearing a protective doo rag


Jimmy leaves for the island July 2003

 

To find out more information about subjects related to Jimmy please follow the links below:

Boricua culture

Puerto rico

Doo rags

Cemi image resembles the Boriqua dog

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