temazcalli (Mglb77r)

temazcalli (Mglb77r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This example of iconography shows a sweat house or steam bath (temazcalli). It is a rectangular building with a rounded fire structure on the left and a water reservoir on the right. The main building, in the middle, has a small entryway bounded by wooden beams. A glyph for water appears inside, with its turquoise blue color and water droplet/bead splashing off the top of the flow. Above the door is a representation of what appears to be an anthropomorphic figure, likely a female, in a frontal view. Her white hair looks something like cotton. Her white clothing has upward pointing chevrons. Her mouth has a thick black outline, and two black circles appear on her cheeks appears a female figure. Similar, but larger black circles (obsidian mirrors?) appear on the building, on either side of the lintel of the entryway. Horizontally, and about even with the middle of the figure’s face, the ends of round wooden beams protrude from the building. Above that are three rows of what are probably adobe bricks. The entire structure is a gray-purple color that might suggest adobe. Flames emerged from the fire structure, and smoke or steam comes out from both the fire structure and the building where the bathing would take place. In the lower left corner, a woman is feeding the fire with more wood (in her right hand), while also holding perhaps a staff in her left hand.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Although there is no gloss here, we are naming it based on its diagnostic elements. It compares quite favorably to a detailed glyph that is glossed in the Codex Mendoza (see below). The contextualizing image shows that men and women were gathering around the sweat bath. A couple, seated on the ground, share a bowl (probably a xicalli) with a red step fret design, full of a liquid (a water glyph appears at the top). Another seated man, facing the bath, gestures with his hands and emits speech scrolls in the direction of it, perhaps a prayer. In front of the entrance to the bath there is a bundle of wood tied with a cord or rope.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Source Manuscript: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 

baños, fuegos, vapor, arquitectura, edificios, adobe, madera, leña, deidades, diosas, deities, goddesses, firewood

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

temazcal(li), sweat house or steam bath, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/temazcalli
Tlazolteotl, divine force of vice, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/tlazolteotl

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

casilla como estufa, donde se bañan y sudan

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Alonso de Molina

Image Source: 

Images of the Magliabechi Codex are hosted by FAMSI at http://www.famsi.org/research/graz/magliabechiano/index.html. They were taken from the Codex Magliabechiano CL. XIII.e (B.R. 232) published in 1970 by Akademische Druk - u. Verlagsanstalt - Graz. This is the best facsimile available.

Image Source, Rights: 

We are borrowing less than 10% of the images from this manuscript. The details from the Magliabechi Codex that are shared here fall under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license. Please only reproduce these images for non-profit and educational purposes, and if you do reproduce an image, please site the FAMSI website, http://www.famsi.org/research/graz/magliabechiano/index.html, and the Visual Lexicon of Aztec Hieroglyphs, https://aztecglyphs.wired-humanities.org/.

Historical Contextualizing Image: