Cihuateopan (Mdz52r)

Cihuateopan (Mdz52r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Cihuateopan has two principal elements, a white temple (teopantli) facing to the viewer's right and the head of a woman (cihuatl) in profile, also facing to the viewer's right. The woman's skin is a tan color and her hair has black lines with a purple watercolor wash over it, seemingly intending to give her black hair. She has a white earplug consisting of two small concentric circles. The temple below the woman is stepped, with ever smaller layers as it goes up. The steps of the pyramid-like structure, which is shown in profile, are on the end to the viewer's right.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The woman's hairstyle, wound up with two braids ends sticking upright above her head, is the style worn by sedentary Nahua women. It was often called the neaxtlahualli and the verb was aixtlahua.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 

Cihuateopan, pueblo

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

c. 1541, or by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Semantic Categories: 
Writing Features: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

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

temples, templos, pyramids, pirámides, woman, women, mujeres

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

"Women's Temple" (Karttunen suggests that the first "n" in Cihuanteopan, the gloss, is intrusive and not meant to be there; unlike Berdan and Anawalt, Karttunen assumes a plural intention for cihuatl here) [Frances Karttunen, unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"On the Woman's Temple" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, p. 184)

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

"En el Templo de las Mujeres"

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 52 recto,, image 114 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).