caxitl (Mdz12r)

caxitl (Mdz12r)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element for caxitl (container) has been carved from the compound sign for the place name, Tecaxic. The interior of the container is painted turquoise blue.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

This vessel, cup, or bowl (caxitl) appears to contain water, given the turquoise color. The name for turquoise (xihuitl), can also be abbreviated to "xiuh" or "xi," and the latter is a syllable in "caxi," which might be why the vessel is painted this color. The caxitl (which is also the root of the molcajete in contemporary Mexican Spanish) and the xicalli (jícara in contemporary Mexican Spanish) could be similar in shape, both having sides that slope outward. Its shape is also reminiscent of the apantli (water channel).

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

c. 1541, but by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Syntax (patterns): 
Cultural Content & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 


Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

container for liquids

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 12 recto,, image 34 of 188.

Image Source, Rights: 

The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, hold the original manuscript, the MS. Arch. Selden. A. 1. This image is published here under the UK Creative Commons, “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License” (CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0).