huehue (Mdz71r)

huehue (Mdz71r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This iconographic representation of an old man allows for comparisons with other older human beings and also with ways men wore their hair and objects in their ears. This man is shown in profile, facing to our right. His skin is a light terracotta or tan. His mouth is slightly open, with teeth somewhat visible. His hair is white and wispy. He has a two-tone green head band, reminiscent of the mottling used for jade, but this would be fabric. Note how the wrinkles on his cheeks, temples, and forehead are similar to the huehue glyphs from the Codex Mendoza.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The gloss, in Spanish, calls this man a "viejo" (old man), which is why we are including this iconographic example in the collection as a "huehue," which is ld man in Nahuatl. Compare this drawing of an elder with the stone sculpture in our museum comparison image. The lines on the forehead, next to the eye and on the cheeks are pronounced in a similar way.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 


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

Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 

aging, elders, old men, viejos, wrinkled, arrugado

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

huehue. Museo Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Salón Mexica. Photograph by Stephanie Wood, 14 February 2023.

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

el viejo

Spanish Translation, Credit: 


Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 71 recto,, image 152 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)