Daily Monster 300: Ai apaec
Region of origin: Northwestern Peru
The primary deity of the Moche tribe of what is now Peru, Ai apaec was a cultural hero in the Moche’s creation myth and also a fearsome but revered supreme being taking on various forms, including aspects of jaguars, spiders and the ocean itself. Often depicted with a blade and a severed head, Ai apaec demanded sacrifices, earning him the nickname “the Headsman” or “the Decapitator” from modern archaeologists. Sacrifices, often prisoners taken after battles with neighboring tribes, had their heads chopped off and left on alters in several temples, gaining Ai apaec’s favor in the form of increased food, luck and fertility, and victories in martial conflicts.