tlacahuacalli (TR25v)

tlacahuacalli (TR25v)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element for a carrying frame that could hold a person, a (tlacahuacalli), appears to combine the term for carrying frame, (huacalli), with the term for person, (tlacatl). In this case, the person is a nude, horizontal male in semi-profile, and his visible eye is closed. The carrying frame seems to be on fire. This element has been carved from the compound glyph for the place name, Tlacahuacaltepec.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The flames would suggest that this is a funerary carrying frame for a corpse. The fact that the man's eye is closed suggests that he is dead. the Florentine Codex shows a ceremony involving the burning of a funerary bundle (a corpse shrouded in white cotton cloth that is tied on with cords or ropes). An article on "Aztec Burials" in Mexicolore shares further: "The higher up in society, the more likely you were to be cremated, alongside the tools of your trade and other offerings. Once burnt, your ashes would be collected in a pottery vase [as shown in the photograph already shared], which also held the green chalchihuitl jewel that would be your soul’s heart on the coming journey. The vase would be buried in a deep hole at your home, covered with food-and-drink offerings."

Date of Manuscript: 

ca. 1550–1563

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood and Stephanie Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 

wooden, madera, funerary, funerario, flames, flamas, fire, fuego, la muerte, death, muertos, deceased peop;le

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

tlaca(tl), person,
huacal(li), carrying frame,
tlacahuacal(li), a carrying frame for carrying a person lying down?,

Image Source: 

Telleriano-Remensis Codex, folio 25 recto, MS Mexicain 385, Gallica digital collection,

Image Source, Rights: 

The non-commercial reuse of images from the Bibliothèque nationale de France is free as long as the user is in compliance with the legislation in force and provides the citation: “Source / Bibliothèque nationale de France” or “Source / BnF.”