micqui (Mdz12r)

micqui (Mdz12r)
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. The deceased person is drawn in black ink and painted with a flesh tone or terracotta color, including the hair.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Frances Karttunen 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, although this example is different from the one on folio 10 verso of the Codex Mendoza, in that the man does not have a ponytail that is visible. The hairstyle might convey a certain ethnicity, possibly from the Huasteca. 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

Source Manuscript: 
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: 

deceased people, corpses, muertos, difuntos

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

micqui, a dead person or a corpse, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/micqui

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 12 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 34 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).