cuexyo (Mdz20v)

cuexyo (Mdz20v)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This example of iconography from the Codex Mendoza shows a feathered war shield {chimalli) in a design that Berdan and Anawalt (1992, vol. 1, Appendix G) call the "cuexyo variant 2." The predominant color is red with black and white accents. A fringe of long feathers hangs down from the round part of the shield.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The main cuexyo shield in Berdan and Anawalt is discussed in some detail in an article in Arqueología Mexicana. em>Cuexyo with the absolutive (cuexyotl) would be a noun, but here it seems to be modifying the noun for shield (chimalli), so it serves as an adjective. See also our dictionary entry for cuextecatl, which refers to a feather suit worn by a dancer.

Guy Stresser-Péan (1995, 55) says that this design represents a Huastec shield. (See his book on the Xicotepec codex in our Bibliography.)

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

xx. Rrodelas di plumas.

Gloss Normalization: 

xx rodelas de plumas

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

Syntax (patterns): 
Cultural Content & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Xitlali Torres

Shapes and Perspectives: 

shields, escudos, rodelas, feathers, plumas

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

This row of shields—a detail copied from the Lienzo de Tlaxcala—includes two shields that compare to this glyph. The detail comes from a work of art by Mariana Castillo Deball and Eduardo Abaroa that was part of the exhibition in the Museo National de Antropología called “Imaginar el Fin de los Tiempos.” Comment and photo by Stephanie Wood, Mexico City, 17 Feb. 2024.

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

cuexyo, a feathered shield design,
cuexteca(tl), a feathered suit for a dancer, or the person who wears this suit,

Image Source: 
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).

Historical Contextualizing Image: