micqui (Mdz10v)

micqui (Mdz10v)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This simplex glyph shows a male corpse (micqui) lying horizontally, it also stands for the place name Miquetlan. The body faces us frontally, and it is nude. The head is in profile, with the eye closed (indicating death). The hair at the top of the head is spiky, and a tzontli (ponytail or secured hank of hair) is visible behind the ear, reaching to the shoulder. The deceased person is drawn in black ink and painted with a flesh tone or terracotta, including the hair.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Linguist Frances Karttunen (follow the link to our online Nahuatl dictionary) notes that the word micqui can refer to a deceased animal as well as a deceased person. This glyph clearly refers to a person. The ethnicity of the person is possibly detectable from the hairstyle. In some glyphs for micqui, we see a corpse wrapped in a shroud, tied around the body, which, instead of being laid out, is in the position of a seated male, with his knees up under his chin. Thus, both ways of rendering a corpse visually in the Codex Mendoza show them as men.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 

c. 1541, but by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

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

micqui, one who had died, or a corpse, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/micqui

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 10 verso, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 31 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).