07 August 2006

Moche warrior- sacrifice

MOCHE WARRIOR-human sacrifice

Two men, probably both the sons of the great nobility would fight with make believe war clubs attempting to knock these beautifully made gold plated crowns off each other’s heads. The one who lost the crown was the loser.

Once he’s lost he’s stripped naked, his hair, which is not supposed to be shown by nobles only the peasants hair was shown, his hair is shown, his genitals are exposed, he’s bound with ropes and he’s either led by the neck or carried on a litter to a huaca, a sacred place where his throat is ritually slit and poured into a vessel, probably mixed with the juice of a fruit called an uluchu, a member of the papaya family, an alkaloid that probably had anticoagulant and may have had hallucinogenic properties. This was then presented to the ruler dressed as the chief god, the jaguar god, Aia Paec, the jaguar of course was the chief predator in ancient Peru. I’m just looking for a picture of Aia Paec. Here I see a version of him; he has the teeth of a jaguar, he has the face of a human being, he wears on his head a head-dress - of course his hair isn’t exposed - which is topped by a version of the tumi, which was a moon shaped semicircular knife which was used for cutting the throats, presumably with the loser

This vessel shows a parade of warriors after a battle. The stripped, naked figure is a captive who is being marched to the home of the victor for sacrificial display. By contrast, the successful warriors are elaborately dressed. Illustrative vessels, such as this fine example, hint at the richness of Maya mural painting, most of which was painted on perishable materials and no longer survives.

No comments: