Centeotl (TR8r)

Centeotl (TR8r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This more abbreviated example of the iconography of Centeotl (also spelled Cinteotl) shows two yellow corn cobs with red silk in the headdress of the divine figure. See the other, more elaborate figure of Centeotl below.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The gendering of this figure was somewhat fluid or ambiguous. In Framing the Sacred (2012, 201), Eleanor Wake writes: "Xilonen was the goddess of the young maize ears, who, as the maize ears swelled and ripened, became Chicomecoatl, 'Seven Serpent,' fundamental maize goddess. Chicomecoatl was nevertheless a female aspect of Centeotl (Nicholson 1971: 417). In other explanations of this dual-gendered familial relationship, Centeotl, at once son and grandson of Xochiquetzal is also her husband (Codex Telleriano-Remensis, 22v)."

Centeotl (which appears to build on the word for the dried maize cob, the mazorca in Spanish) might represent the further evolution of the cob as it matures. Eloise Quiñones Keber infers from this relatively lightly decorated figure that "he is a minor figure who represents a deity impersonator of Centeotl or a participant in a ceremony connected with Mayahuel, the missing chief patron of this trecena." But she adds that one of the annotators of the manuscript wrote that Centeotl was the "origin of the gods," who also signifies abundance. [See Codex Telleriano-Remensis, 1995, 174.]

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 

Centeotl (also spelled Cinteotl)

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 

ca. 1550–1563

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 

divine forces, fuerzas divinas, deidades, deities, divinities, divinidades, gender ambiguous, ambigüedad de género, centli, cintli

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

Cinteo(tl), a name, associated with the ear-of-maize divine force, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/cinteotl
cin(tli), dried ears of maize or corn, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/cintli
teo(tl), divine force(s), https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/teotl

Whittaker's Transliteration: 
Image Source: 

Telleriano-Remensis Codex, folio 8 recto, MS Mexicain 385, Gallica digital collection, https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8458267s/f41.item.zoom

Image Source, Rights: 

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Historical Contextualizing Image: