amantecatl (Mdz70r)

amantecatl (Mdz70r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This example of iconography is provided here as a comparison for identifying feathers, feather workers, and men (with a certain hairstyle and type of clothing). This is a man in profile view, facing to the viewer's right. He wears a white cape tied at his right shoulder and a white loincloth. He is seated on a small device made of petlatl (woven reeds). In his right hand he holds three feathers (one green, one yellow and red, and the third is red), and in his left hand he holds a tool. In the gloss his occupation is said to be a feather worker.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The amanteca (plural) can be simply artisans, or people who work specifically with feathers. Red and yellow feathers were especially valuable. Feathers hold a great importance in Nahua culture. The birds that produce the feathers are also prized, and they were especially held in esteem prior to contact with Europeans. As we see here, the occupation of working feathers was given special attention in this manuscript and in the Florentine Codex. Here is a sample search in the Digital Florentine Codex for the term amanteca. Here is a page with beautiful illustrations of feather working.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

maeso de guarneçer
con plumas

Gloss Normalization: 

maestro de guarnecer con plumas

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


feathers, plumas, men, hombres, oficios, occupations, plumajeros, amantecah, amanteca, amantecas

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 

amanteca(tl), artisan or feather worker,

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 70 recto,, image 150 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)