cactli (Mdz66r)

cactli (Mdz66r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This example of shoes or sandals we are labeling cactli (given that there is no Nahuatl gloss to ensure the reading) shows a man's feet in profile, walking toward the viewer's right. The skin of the lower legs and feet is a purplish gray color. The shoes are white with red (perhaps leather) ties. The toes are uncovered, and the red tie hangs over the top of the foot. The shape of the bow ties is much like that of the loincloth.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The cactli taken from the Codex Ixtlilxochitl (below) have a more elaborate design on the heel covering. This was posted to X by a UTSA student with the nickname @Tlatollotl. Googling cactli will bring up many recreations and other sandals that are called cacles in Spanish today. We can see, too, how the cactli was a precursor to modern huaraches. The Gran Diccionario Náhuatl has a large collection of images of cactli.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

c. 1541, by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Cultural Content & Iconography: 

zapatos, sandalias, huaraches, cacles

Museum & Rare Book Comparisons: 
Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 66 recto,, image 142 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)