Ah Puch

Ah Puch, a significant deity in Mayan mythology, is the god of death and the ruler of the Underworld. He is associated with decay, destruction, and the ultimate fate of all living beings. Ah Puch’s origins trace back to ancient Mayan cosmology, where his role in the cycle of life and death was deeply intertwined with Mayan beliefs and rituals.

Within Mayan cosmology, Ah Puch played a vital role in the Mayan view of the afterlife. He resided in the lowest level of the Underworld, known as Xibalba, where he ruled over the souls of the departed. Ah Puch and other deities presided over various tests and challenges that souls had to overcome on their journey through the Underworld.


Ah Puch is often depicted as a skeletal figure, reflecting his association with death and decay. He is shown with exposed bones, sunken eyes, and a skull-like face. Ah Puch may wear garments or symbols representing death and the underworld, emphasizing his connection to the realm of departed souls.

Powers & Abilities

As the god of death, Ah Puch possesses powers related to the end of life and the journey to the afterlife. He is believed to oversee the souls of the deceased, determining their fate in the Underworld. Ah Puch is associated with natural death, disease, and decay, representing the inevitable transition all beings must face.


Several symbols are associated with Ah Puch, representing his domains and attributes. Skulls and bones are primary symbols, representing death and mortality. Snakes are also associated with Ah Puch, symbolizing the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. Additionally, the owl is often depicted in relation to Ah Puch, symbolizing his wisdom and nocturnal nature.


In Maya mythology, Ah Puch is often considered one of the gods associated with the underworld and the realm of the dead. He is sometimes portrayed as a son of Hun-Came and Vucub-Came, the rulers of Xibalba, the Mayan underworld.


The worship of Ah Puch in ancient Mayan civilization involved rituals and ceremonies dedicated to honoring and appeasing him. These rituals aimed to ensure a smooth transition for the deceased and to gain his favor for the souls’ journey in the afterlife. Offerings, sacrifices, and prayers were made to honor Ah Puch’s power and seek his protection.

Caves were considered sacred spaces and portals to the underworld in Maya religion. Ah Puch was believed to reside in the depths of caves, and some cave systems were designated as important religious sites where worship and offerings to the god took place.

Facts about Ah Puch

  • Ah Puch is sometimes depicted with a distinctive headdress or crown made of human bones, representing his dominion over death and decay.
  • He is often associated with cemeteries and burial grounds, as these places were considered his domains.
  • Ah Puch’s role in Mayan mythology reflects the Mayans’ recognition of the inevitability of death and the importance of rituals and offerings to honor and remember the deceased.
  • Stories and legends featuring Ah Puch often showcase his encounters with heroic figures who must navigate the trials of the Underworld.
  • Ah Puch’s influence extended beyond death and the Underworld, as he was also associated with aspects of the natural world, such as pestilence and decomposition.

Ah Puch

Ah Puch Facts

Name(s):Ah Puch
Rules over: Death
Symbols:Skulls, Bones
Sacred animals:Snake, Owls
Greek Similar: Hades
Roman Similar: Pluto