Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Maya Deity of the Day: Ah Puch

Ah Puch aka Hun Ahau or God A is the Maya God of Death and is said to reside in the ninth and frankly least pleasant level of Xibalba. The Aztecs later gave him the much less tongue-friendly name of Mictlantecuhtli.

He is seen here in perhaps his most popular get-up, that of a rotting corpse topped by a skull. Bells also dangle from his wrists and hair-bands.

One of his nicknames is 'The Flatulent One', just one of his many ways of demonstrating a doggedly malevolent nature.

The head of Ah Puch was also sometimes represented as that of an owl and some indigenous people in the region still believe that the screech of this bird portends an imminent fatality:

'Cuando el tecolote canta... el indio muere.'

As well as the owl, Ah Puch's constant companions are the dog and the Moán bird, also perceived as creatures of foul-omen.

He ranks ranks fourth in number of depictions in the codices, appearing 88 times in the three extant manuscripts.

See also ahhh puchis?!


1 comment:

scott said...

You may not be able to access this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2C5XuylNFLo

A Burroughs project from a while back--based on his book "Ah Pook is Here."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ah_Pook_is_Here