xayacatl (Mdz19r)

xayacatl (Mdz19r)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element for face (xayacatl) has been carved from the compound sign for the place name, Axayacatl (shown below, right). It is a male face (which is determined by the haircut, including short bangs and black hair cut off just below the ears), and the skin is a terracotta color. The eye is open and it is white with a black pupil. The face is in profile, facing to the viewer's right.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Only one other face glyph in this collection is a frontal view. The profile is the norm, and showing the hair on the head seems optional. One face is turquoise and has been laid down, suggestive of a mask, which is another translation for xayacatl.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss 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 & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 

faces, caras

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 


Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 15 verso, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 48 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).