ayauhcalli (Mdz64r)

ayauhcalli (Mdz64r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This iconographic element shows a building in profile open to the viewer's left. Its t-shaped beams in the doorway are painted turquoise. The building itself, very reminiscent of a calli, is white. Along the top, horizontal plane of the building, there are three pairs of vertical dashes, seemingly representing mist or fog [ayauh(tli)] and these are also painted turquoise (the color of water).

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The gloss explains that this is an "ayauhcalli," or fog-house. The gloss also describes it as a mezquita, which was the Spaniards' early term for a teocalli, religious house, drawing from their experience with the religious temples of the Moors in the Reconquest of Iberia. The term ayauhcalli combines ayauh(tli) (fog) with cal(li) (house or building).

The markings on the top of the building are somewhat reminiscent of mist, which is akin to rain quiyahuitl or quiahuitl. See below, right. Another explanation for the particular shape of these paired hash marks (what Dehouve calls the double-stroke sign) might have something to do with the "hua" of possession, perhaps providing a phonetic indicator for ayauhui. (See below, right, for other "hua" suggestions). The t-shaped entrance to the building, which usually has terracotta-colored wooden beams, here has turquoise beams. The choice of color certainly seems to relate to water, again, and therefore to preciosity and a religious significance.

Elena Mazzetto has studied the ahuacalli sanctuaries in detail, and shows how they relate to religious festivals, which have a calendrical connection (veintenas).

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

mezquita non[-]
brada ayauhcali

Gloss Normalization: 

mezquita nombrada ayauhcalli

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript (incl coverage): 

c. 1541, or by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (place, incl. coverage): 

Mexico City

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood, Xitlali Torres

Reading Order: 

temples, templos, houses, buildings, architecture, religious structures, religious buildings, religious festivals, casas, edificios, arquitectura, santuarios, calendario, fiestas, double-strike sign, double-stroke sign

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

la casa de la niebla

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 64 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 138 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)