ANIMAL ART OF THE DAY: Owl Supernatural Decapitator!

Here’s another piece from the Ancient Americas gallery at the Reading Public Museum…“Owl Supernatural Decapitor” needs to be someone’s new goth metal band name ?

Stirrup Spout Vessel Depicting an Owl Supernatural Decapitator
Moche peoples, Peru, AD 200 – 550 (Early Intermediate Period, Moche III-IV Phases)
slipped earthenware
Reading Public Museum (PA, USA)
[photos by author]

In Moche art, birds of prey are sometimes depicted as Supernatural Decapitators who sever the heads of sacrificial victims. This Decapitator Owl has a face with human eyes and wears a mask with jaguar fangs. Holding a crescent shaped tumi knife to sever the head of its victim, it carries a conch shell on its back, and has a noose around its neck like those used to restrain captives. What might the conch shell symbolize?

[Reading Public Museum]
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