xicalcoliuhqui (Mdz64r)

xicalcoliuhqui (Mdz64r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This example of iconography has as its focus the stepped fret swirling design (xicalcoliuhqui) that was well known on many war shields. It has a rectangular and stepped swirl in yellow and green.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Sometimes swirling water involves a rectangular coil. It is unclear if the coil here has any association with whirlpools. The potential significance of the swirling water is brought home by the name glyph for Tetzauh (omen), which seems to suggest that whirlpools (and perhaps whirlwinds, and the like) create a vortex that connects life on earth with a spiritual realm. See below.

Added 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, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood


shields, rodelas, escudos

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

Diseño del Remolino Escalonado

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 64 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 138 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-SAq 3.0)