Exceptional large Mochica head pot depicting a man wearing a copper Ai Apaec jaguar teeth mask. Glazed and stone-polished portrait of a lord or shaman. Painted serpent ear ornaments with what appears to be insects. Headband with painted dangles. An unusually large and very powerful example in excellent condition. Mochica I, 100-500 AD. Peru. Mint Condition, Museum Piece.
Ai apaec, also called degollador was the chief deity of the Mochica culture, was one of their gods punishers, the most feared and adored, is also called the headsman. Ai Apaec was worshiped as the creator god, protector of the Moche, a provider of water, food and military triumphs. Aiapaec means ‘doer’ in Mochica language.
The most common representation of Ai Apaec is that seen in the murals of the Temples of the moon and sun (picture), which presents an anthropomorphic face with feline fangs and surrounding ocean waves.
Ai apaec was represented in several ways, depending on the period, place, and support used. In metallurgy, for example, Ai apaec is often seen as a spider with eight legs and an anthropomorphic face with jaguar fangs. In ceramics the divinity is often more anthropomorphic, usually with his head in his hands and sometimes with two snakes sprouting from his head.