Chicome Acatl (Mdz2r)

Chicome Acatl (Mdz2r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This representation of the solar year (xihuitl) date Seven Reed (Chicome Acatl) consists of the notation for seven (chicome) and the simplex glyph for reed (acatl). The number seven is expressed as seven small circles grouped into five (along the top from the upper left corner) and two (down the right side from the upper right corner). The ones doe not have dots or smaller concentric circles; they are empty, except for paint. For comparisons, see below. The reed is presented as an upright cane standing in a symbolic, cross-sectioned waterway (apantli) and decorated with feathers the way arrows are decorated. The entire date is boxed in with a black-line drawing, and it is painted over with a turquoise blue.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

A boxed-in date says this refers to a year. The turquoise (xihuitl) wash is a reminder that this is a year (xihuitl), given that this blue and the word for year are homophoneos. Here, the ones are presented something like a math equation, 5 + 2 = 7. The groupings harken back to when numbers were counted on the fingers and toes, with five being on one hand and then two more fingers.

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

c. 1541, or by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Shapes and Perspectives: 
Parts (compounds or simplex + notation): 
Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 

dates, fechas, calendars, calendarios, números, cañas, carrizos, flechas, plantas, plumas, canales, xiuhpohualli, año, turquesa, xihuitl

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

chicome acatl. This date appears on a carved stone displayed in the Museo del Templo Mayor. Photograph by Robert Haskett, 15 February 2023.

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

Siete Caña

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 02 recto,, image 14 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).