The Blood of the Mountains
Standing out against other ethnic groups in the Andean cultural area, the Moche openly and publicly celebrated the ceremonial blood.
The stages that made up the ritual sequence of human sacrifice, also presented in this room, were carefully described and narrated by the Moche artists, who through the power of their images instructed and revealed to the masses the sacred code of a warrior discipline.
Although we do not fully know what was the meaning or the nature of the armed encounter between the Moche, we know that the objective of these great meetings exceeded a political ambition of an expansive and military nature. Dense sacred substance, blood was the axis and main component of the political and religious ideology of the Moche. In the ritual imaginary, the captured warrior’s blood flowed down the mountain tops like a turbulent and mighty river, and charged by the power and vigor of the warrior, encouraged the rivers and fertilized the pampas.
The ritual battles and the consequent ceremony of sacrifice spread and practiced in all valleys and centers of Moche power, demonstrating that blood, rather than a symbol of conflict, was the paradigmatic symbol of integration between men and their gods.