acayetl (Mdz67r)

acayetl (Mdz67r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This iconographic supportive material representing (acayetl) comes from the tribute lists in the Codex Mendoza. It appears to be group of bamboo-like canes that have been smeared with something dark gray or purple or dipped in a dark liquid. They are tied in two places, using a vertical white cord or leather strip. Smoking tubes called acayetl, acacuahuitl, or yetlalli, were stuffed with tobacco and sometimes liquid ambar and/or aromatic herbs, according to Berdan and Anawalt (Codex Mendoza, 1992, v. 2, 218).

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The gloss (in Spanish) refers to a bunch or a handful of "perfumes" (i.e. perfumed sticks or tubes). When burned, this stick would have had an aroma that European observers sometimes did call perfume. The air would fill with smoke. The word acayetl) is a compound made from acatl) (reed) and iyetl) (incense). See Book II, folio 26v of the Florentine Codex for examples of smoking tubes in use. Iyetl and acayetl are a challenge to distinguish visually. In his translations of the Cantares, John Bierhorst (Ballads of the Lords of New Spain, 2010, 24, note 117) calls iyetl "smoking tubes" and acayetl "reed incense."

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

un manojo de perfu[-]

Gloss Normalization: 

un manojo de perfumes

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

c. 1541, or by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 
Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

el palo de incienso, o la caña de sahumerio

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Alonso de Molina

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 67 recto,, image 144 of 188.

Image Source, Rights: 

Original manuscript is held by the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, MS. Arch. Selden. A. 1; used here with the UK Creative Commons, “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License” (CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0)