cihuapilli (FCbk1p33)

cihuapilli (FCbk1p33)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This iconographic example from the Florentine Codex, Book 1, page 33 of the World Digital Library edition, is meant to provide detail of the way noble women (cihuapipiltin, plural of cihuapilli) wore their hair up, with two points, known as the neaxtlahualli, and the verb to make this hairstyle was aixtlahua. Her hair is here painted a dark gray color, seemingly meant to suggest black. This detail shows how they could bind the hair. It is not obviously braided. The woman, shown here in profile, looking to the viewer's right, appears also to have a round earplug of a yellow color (possibly gold, and therefore a teocuitlanacochtli?). Her blouse (huipilli) has a v-neck and a design of white with thin black stripes.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Not all women wore their hair up in this fashion. See, for example, the woman with long hair down her back (below), and some of the women in the historical, contextualizing image (also below, right). The Florentine Codex discusses the hair style in this iconographic example, calling it neaxtlahualli (see Other words (verbs) referring to this coiffure are aixtlahua and icuiya. All the women in the contextualizing image have distinct details in their clothing. The main figure in this example we have singled out does not have the rectangle on her blouse that the other women have (just below the v-neck).

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 


Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 

second half, sixteenth century

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood


women, hairstyles, mujeres nobles, peinados, huipiles

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Image Source: 

General History of the Things of New Spain by Fray Bernardino de SahagĂșn: The Florentine Codex, Book 1, page 33, World Digital Library,

Image Source, Rights: 

Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Ms. Med. Palat. 220. Su concessione del MiBAC E' vietata ogni ulteriore riproduzione con qualsiasi mezzo.

Historical Contextualizing Image: