tlacuiloque machiyotl (Mdz57r)

tlacuiloque machiyotl (Mdz57r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This example of iconography from folio 57 recto of the Florentine Codex shows one of four insignia (which we are here calling machiyotl, despite the lack of a gloss identifying them as such in Nahuatl). This one has an association with tlacuiloque in a study by Laura Filloy Nadal and María Olvido Moreno Guzmán, in their essay in Mesoamerican Manuscripts (2018, p. XVI). They explain that these insignia refer to "carpenters (cuahxinque), featherworkers (amanteca), painters tlacuiloque), and goldsmiths (teocuitlahuaque)." See the contextualizing image to get a view of all four insignia. The one singled out here is a red box with two opposing speech scrolls and a two-tone, white and tan writing implement above them. The colors are divided on a diagonal. This is the one the authors associate with writers.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

There is a strong likelihood that this sign refers to the act of writing or painting, or perhaps even something painted or written. Beyond that, several scholars have concluded that this is a very specific piece of writing, a day (ilhuitl) from the divinatory almanac, the tonalamatl. See the discussions associated with our records for tlacuilo and tlacuiloliztli (below).

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

las ynsignias

Gloss Normalization: 

las insignias

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

c. 1541, or by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Cultural Content & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood


insignias, signos, símbolos, escritura, pintura, escritores, pintores

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

insignia de los escribanos y pintores

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 57 recto,, image 124 of 188.

Image Source, Rights: 

Original manuscript is held by the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, MS. Arch. Selden. A. 1; used here with the UK Creative Commons, “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License” (CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0)

Historical Contextualizing Image: