cuexyo (Mdz64r)

cuexyo (Mdz64r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This iconographic example of the cuexyo shield is provided as a comparison for various shields that appear in glyphs, such as is shown below, right. The cuexyo design version #1 comes in different colors. This one is predominantly red, with yellow and turquoise accents. It has a row of three upright u-shapes in about the middle, and one more at the top. In between are curving bands of yellow and turquoise, with black-line hash marks. The perimeter has a yellow band, too.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

For a surviving example of a cuexyo shield, see the photo published by Vitrina News in 2019. This design, similar to what we see in glyph for chimalli (below, right) but with a different background color, was, according to an article in Arqueología Mexicana, associated with the a war shield from the Huaxtec region (the Huasteca, today). The full name is cuexyo chimalli (or possibly cuexyochimalli), where cuexyo serves as an adjective. One name for the people of the Huasteca was "cuexteca," according to Sahagún. An original example from prior to contact exists today in a museum in Mexico City. It has feathers and jaguar skin on it and a wooden backing (and therefore should have been known as a cuauhchimalli), according to Manuel Aguilar-Moreno, Handbook to Life in the Aztec World (2007), p. 115. It was discovered in Vienna in the nineteenth century, and its return to Mexico was secured by a Mexican diplomat, Gregorio Barandiarán, according to the article. Another excellent photograph of the original was published in El Universal newspaper. The historical contextualizing image that we provide shows a striking difference between the warrior in red who holds the the elaborate cuexyo chimalli shield and the plainer shield held by the captive.

Added 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, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Other Cultural Influences: 

designs, shields, diseños, rodelas, escudos

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

cuexyo, war shield design,
-yo(tl)-, having that characteristic or quality/inalienable possession,

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

un diseño de rodela o escudo de la Huasteca

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 64 recto,, image 138 of 188.

Image Source, Rights: 

Original manuscript is held by the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, MS. Arch. Selden. A. 1; used here with the UK Creative Commons, “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License” (CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0)

Historical Contextualizing Image: