huehuetl (Mdz70r)

huehuetl (Mdz70r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This iconographic example from the Codex Mendoza, folio 70 recto, is a standing drum with a jaguar pelt on the top and a horizontal turquoise-colored band above the legs. The legs have a zigzag or stepped cutout pattern that is also turquoise in color. The main part of the drum has a pattern that is reminiscent of either stone or wood.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

This gloss with this drum does not say "tambor," as might be expected. Rather, it says "viejo" (old man), which is the translation for huehue, not huehuetl. Thus, perhaps the person writing viejo was a Nahua who was thinking of how the Nahuatl words for drum and old man were homophonic.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 


Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood


drums, huehuetes, atabal, atabales, vertical, madera

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

huehue, elder
huehue(tl), standing drum

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 70 recto,, image 150 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)