micoa (TR46v)

micoa (TR46v)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This example of iconography shows about fourteen deceased people, all of them shrouded, and the shrouds are tied with cords or ropes. The colors of the shrouds alternate between brown and gray. The gloss, in Spanish, refers to "una gran mortandad," a major mortality. We are using the Nahuatl term micoa, the impersonal of miqui (to die) and which Alonso de Molina translates as "aver mortandad" (haber mortandad), for there to be mortality. We could probably add the modifier huei, for gran.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The deceased in this image lost their lives as a result of epidemics. The Indigenous people did not have immunities to diseases brought over from Europe. Some eighty years after the invasion and colonization, the population of Mexico dropped from an estimated 25 million to roughly 1 million. At the time of the production of this manuscript, there were still a couple of decades to go before that loss was reached. In the seventeenth century, the Indigenous population would begin to rebuild.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

una gran mortandad

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla, Mexico

Cultural Content & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 

muertos, mortandad, muerte, epidemias

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

la gran mortandad

Image Source: 

The Codex Telleriano-Remensis is hosted on line by the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8458267s/f118.item. We have taken this detail shot from the indicated folio.

Image Source, Rights: 

This manuscript is not copyright protected, but please cite Gallica, the digital library of the Bibliothèque nationale de France or cite this Visual Lexicon of Aztec Hieroglyphs, ed. Stephanie Wood (Eugene, Ore.: Wired Humanities Projects, 2020–present).