tlacamictia (TR38v)

tlacamictia (TR38v)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This example of iconography comes from the Codex Telleriano-Remensis. We are including this as an example of one person killing another, which we have decided to label "tlacamictia" (literally, to kill a person). The gloss (in Spanish) provides the noun "sacrificio" (sacrifice). The person being killed is a woman. She is a woman who has given childbirth, considering the folds in her stomach. Her eyes are closed, which suggests that she is dead. She is on the ground, naked, and blood is spurting out from all around her body. A man (shown in a 3/4 view, in profile, facing left) stands over her with what appears to be a club in his right hand. It is turquoise blue. He has a war shield in his left hand. The shield has a white border, a brown interior, and a black horizontal stripe with two white circles inside the strip and black dots inside the white circles. A white loincloth protrudes from underneath a tunic that is yellow, green and turquoise blue with two red ties. At his neck are what may be two white shells. On his left ear may be a jade plug. His dark hair grows below his ear plug, but it is short with bangs across his forehead. On top of his head is a clump of hair tied with a red (probably leather) thong, which is characteristic of warriors and priests. Coming up from behind his back is a post with feathers of pink and green circling at the top, but yellow, green, and brown feathers protruding horizontally in the lower part of the pole.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

Sacri ficcio

Gloss Normalization: 


Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 

ca. 1550–1563

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood


offerings, huentli, ofrendas, muerte, sacrificio humano, guerra

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

tlacamictia, to perform human sacrifice,

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Telleriano-Remensis Codex, folio 38 verso, 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.”

Historical Contextualizing Image: