quiyahuitl (Mdz45r)

quiyahuitl (Mdz45r)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element for rain (quiyahuitl) has been carved from the compound sign for the place name, Tlachquiyauhco. The rain consists of six vertical, short streams of water painted turquoise blue and with black lines in the middle that suggest current or flow (movement). At the bottom of the streams are white water droplets/beads that are small concentric circles left white or neutral. The streams of rain are presented symmetrically in two groups of three. The staggering of these raindrops at different heights provides a type of visual movement, as though they are falling through the air. They fall from an unknown source, as though suspended in air.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Quiyahuitl (rain) is a day name in the divinatory calendar, but in the compound fro which this element derives, rain may have been playing a phonetic role for -quiyahuac (outside or at the entrance--to the ball court).

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

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood, Xitlali Torres


lluvia, aguacero, agua, entrada

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 


Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 45 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 100 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).