Eyi Acatl (Mdz2r)

Eyi Acatl (Mdz2r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This representation of a solar year (xihuitl) date, Three Reed (Eyi Caña) includes the notation for three ones across the top and, below the ones, the simplex calendrical glyph for reed (acatl). The ones have a dot in the middle, in this case, although sometimes ones are empty, and sometimes they have small concentric circles in the center (see below). The reed is short, standing in a waterway (apantli, in cross-section), and decorated with feathers, much like the dart or arrow (mitl) that was made from this reed. In the original, the entire glyph is enclosed in a box-like black-line drawing (not visible here), and the entire contents are painted over with a turquoise (xihuitl) pigment. Because year and turqoise are homophones, the blue coloring here seems to serve as a phonetic indicator that this is a date.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Calendrics were an important element in the Nahuas' religious views of the cosmos. A boxed-in date says this refers to a year. The turquoise wash over the date is a visual reminder that these are dates, given that green and blue-green [xihuitl is a homophone with the word for year [xihuitl. See the compound glyph for Acapan (on folio 20 recto), below, for the full-color version of the acatl that looks like the arrow. And see the two examples of the reed/arrow on folio 23 recto.

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

Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

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

dates, fechas, ones, numbers, números, years, años, reeds, cañas, carrizos, plumas, feathers, canales, calendarios, flechas, xiuhpohualli, turquesa, xihuitl

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

Codex Mendoza, folio 02 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., 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)