quimichin (Mdz16r)

quimichin (Mdz16r)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element for mouse (quimichin) has been carved from the compound sign for the place name, Quimichtepec (shown below, right). In this profile view, the mouse is facing to our left. Its coat is painted purple. Its belly is white, as are its eye, fangs, and claws.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

This rat could symbolize something about the local animal population, but it could also be a reference to merchants (who travel a lot and have opportunities to gather information to bring back to the emperor), eavesdroppers, and/or outright spies, given the associations rats have with such people, as explained for school children by Ian Mursell in Mexicolore.

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: 

mouse, mice, ratones

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 


Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

el ratón

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 16 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 42 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).