tlacoquixtia (TR21r)

tlacoquixtia (TR21r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This iconographic example of a man drawing blood from his ear is meant to provide comparisons for hieroglyphs that have similar details. What is shown here is a man, probably a priest, standing in profile, looking to the viewer's left. He is wearing a loincloth (a signature garment for a man). His bangs are short, but he has long hair at the back of his head (probably a tzontli) wrapped with a red (perhaps leather) tie, of the sort worn by priests. A turquoise earplug (perhaps a nacochtli) is just visible in his left ear. He also has a feathered headdress that includes long green quetzal feathers in a spray that seems rooted in a heron (aztatl) feather device that has many white down feathers and a red wrap. In his right hand he carries a white xiquipilli bag and perhaps a yellow shell; another yellow shell(?) appears behind him. In his left hand he has a sharp instrument seemingly made of bone and decorated with more feathers. With this, he is piercing his ear for the purpose of ritual bloodletting, and a spurt of red blood is visible.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

esto era mostrar como se esta sacrificādo de las

Gloss Normalization: 

esto era mostrar cómo se está sacrificando de las orejas

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


sangría, sangrado, sangre, bloodletting, bleeding, blood, xiquipilli, bolsa, talega, sack, bag, 8000, ocho mil

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

tlacoquixtia, to pass small twigs through the tongue or the ears, to draw blood as an offering to honor the divine forces,
tlaco, half, middle, center,
quixtia, to take, to take out of,
tzon(tli), hair,
temilo(tli), a warrior hairstyle,
tlatzonilpia, to tie up the hair,

Image Source: 

Telleriano-Remensis Codex, folio 21 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.”

Historical Contextualizing Image: 
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