xayacatl (Mdz13v)

xayacatl (Mdz13v)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element for the human face or a mask (xayacatl) has been carved from the compound sign for the place name, Cuauhixayacatitlan. It features a rare, frontal view of the face, a full face, with eyes open and a full set of teeth showing. The hair on the head appears to be very short, just crowning the top of the head. If it is longer in the back, the viewer cannot know.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Compare this face with others that appear in profile, both with and without hair, below on the right. The difference may be owing to this face possibly representing a mask.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

c. 1541, but by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 
Museum & Rare Book Comparisons: 
Museum/Rare Book Notes: 

xayacatl. These stone faces or masks were found in offerings at the Templo Mayor. The Museo del Templo Mayor identifies them as being in the "Mezcala style." Photograph by Stephanie Wood, 15 February 2023.

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 


Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 13 verso, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 37 of 188.

Image Source, Rights: 

The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, hold the original manuscript, the MS. Arch. Selden. A. 1. This image is published here under the UK Creative Commons, “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License” (CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0).