Chalchiuhtlicue (TR8r)

Chalchiuhtlicue (TR8r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This example of iconography from the Codex Telleriano-Remensis shows the deity or divine force of Chalchiuhtlicue, "Jade-Her Skirt." She has an association with earthly waters, the complement of the celestial waters of the divine force of rain, Tlaloc. In this image, four streams of water emerge from her chest, each one with a droplet or bead at the tip. Two more streams come out of her headdress, one with a droplet and one with a turbinate shell. The headdress is the same of turquoise blue as the water, but with a horizontal white line across it and some white fringe at the back of the headdress, all of this with black dots or black hash marks. Green feathers (probably quetzalli) also arise from the headdress and bend backward. A red ring holds them together at their base. What may be two short yellow feathers also emerge from this red ring. On the deity's chest is a turquoise blue rounded cloth with red trim. Her hair(?) is purple. There is a turquoise ear plug with a red center at about ear level. The skin of her face is red. A yellow outline runs around her face. Her (open?) eye is white.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The stone carving of Chalchiuhtlicue from the Museo de América, Madrid, shows that the headdress fans out from the sides of her head. The band on her forehead also shows horizontal lines with a row of dots below that. So, the glyph echoes some of this autonomous-era iconography.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 


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 and Stephanie Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 

water, agua, deidades, deities, fuerzas divinas, divinidades, divine forces, earthly, terrestrial, feathers, plumas, fuerzas sagradas

Museum & Rare Book Comparisons: 
Museum/Rare Book Notes: 

Chalchiuhtlicue. Museo de América, Madrid. Photograph by Simon Burchell. Wikimedia Commons.

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

Chalchiuhtlicue, a deity, a fertility goddess associated with earthly waters,

Image Source: 

Telleriano-Remensis Codex, folio 8 recto, MS Mexicain 385, Gallica digital collection,

Image Source, Rights: 

The non-commercial reuse of images from the Bibliothèque nationale de France is free as long as the user is in compliance with the legislation in force and provides the citation: “Source / Bibliothèque nationale de France” or “Source / BnF.”

Historical Contextualizing Image: