“This past November three [Peruvian Hairless Dog] puppies were born in the Túcume Museum. The Peruvian Hairless Dog is announced as integral part of the culture of Lambayeque during the year of the Peruvian Bicentennial”, says the Museum director, Archaeol. Bernarda Delgado Elías.
Inspired by the legend of Naylamp, Bernarda has decided to call them: Ñamla (founder of the kingdom of Sicán or Lambayeque) like his father, Yampallec (according to the legend, the idol of Ñamla) and Calac (according to the legend, descendant of Ñamla and founder of Túcume).
These will be their names until they go to live in their forever homes shortly—the Museum already has two Peruvian Hairless Dogs that live there and act as ambassadors of the breed that is National Cultural Heritage.
These two Hairless Dogs, the puppies’ parents, are Ñamla and Celeste. Faithful companions of Bernarda but also a delight to every tourist who visits the Museum. They’re two very docile dogs, as well as beautiful, which attracts a lot of attention from visiting tourists who spend a good part of their visit taking pictures with them and learning about the history of the Peruvian Hairless Dog of Peru and the place it occupies in modern time.
Ñamla is a beautiful Peruvian Hairless of large build and a dark copper color.
Celeste is dark bronze, with a beautiful reddish-orange patch of hair on her head, and a pair of enigmatic cerulean eyes, which define her both in name and in appearance.
In honor of those unique eyes, Bernarda had an exclusive house built for her in the same color and located at the entrance of the Museum, from where Celeste acts as a kind of sphinx that protects the entry to that special place.
But Ñamla doesn’t fall behind: he is a much-loved dog in Túcume; he frequently visits the houses of the Museum’s employees and everyone who deals with him immediately falls for him.
“[And] the puppies are as docile as their parents,” Bernarda tells me. “One becomes fond of them. However, I’m very happy that they’re already waiting for them in their new homes.
And coincidentally they’ll be spending Christmas with their new families. One of them will go to the house of the Director of the Pachacamac Museum—also a pioneer in the protection of the Hairless Dog, since for many years she has had Hairless Dogs at the Museum, encouraged its study, organized activities around the topic, and, in addition, volunteered the Site Museum as a location for the filming of the film ‘The Peruvian Hairless Dog’ (Allemant, Darleguy. 2015). Another puppy will go to live with a policewoman who is part of the Túcume Museum detachment. And another, to the home of a member of a health association.”
For Bernarda this is not new: she has been protecting the Peruvian Hairless Dog for more than two decades, and it is not the first time that puppies have been born under her roof. A puppy from the previous litter went to the Unconcentrated Directorate of Culture of Lambayeque, where it is part of the cultural exhibition of the entire province.
But it’s not all joy. During so many years having dogs it’s only natural that there have been sad moments, such as the death of some of them must undoubtedly have been. As part of Bernarda’s tradition, all her pets are buried in the same place where they lived: in the Museum. Bernarda has therefore built a Lambayeque-style cemetery next to the Museum to house all the Hairless Dogs that have lived there, as well as other Peruvian Hairless whose owners want them buried in a place as symbolic as Túcume, birthplace of the breed. So this cemetery is indeed one of the only modern cemeteries of Peruvian Hairless Dog—perhaps the only one. Tourists who go to the Museum also visit the cemetery, a beautiful and peaceful place, picturesque, colorful and happy, with the mausoleums of the beloved dogs built in the style of the architecture of Lambayeque, with local materials, and each culminated with the photo of the dog, its name and an epitaph in its honor, lovingly dedicated by its owners.
But Bernarda’s initiatives regarding the Peruvian Hairless Dog don’t end there: she tells me about her plans for this year, 2021, the year of the Peruvian Bicentennial, in which she plans to encourage visitors to the museum to come with their pets—that is, of course, once visits are again possible.
No doubt that people like Bernarda shouldn’t go unnoticed. So many years of revaluing and promoting the culture of Lambayeque through its history and its cultural symbols, such as the Peruvian Hairless Dog, are worthy of our recognition.
Things always turn out well when they’re done with love!
We wish the best of luck to Bernarda, her collaborators and all the Hairless dogs in her charge. It is with immense pleasure we find her actions in favor of the Peruvian Hairless Dog multiply as time goes by, as do the lessons she leaves to Lambayeque, Peru and the world.
You can also visit: