xima (Mdz70r)

xima (Mdz70r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This example of iconography shows the action of working with wood (cutting, chipping, shaving, etc.), and so we have given it the Nahuatl verb xima. It is a detail from a scene (see the contextualizing image) involving a woodworker or carpinter (carpintero, as the gloss says in Spanish) performing this action. The detail we have isolated shows the man's two hands, his left one holding a branch of terracotta-colored wood and his right hand holding an ax or hatchet. The hatchet has a curved wooden handle, and tied to the upper end is a triangular blade. The man's skin and the wooden handle are both a tan color, and the blade is pinkish--probably copper. The blade is tied to the wood with a white cord or leather thong. Two, small, triangular chips of wood are suspended in the air between the piece of wood and the hatchet, providing a sense of movement.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Additional Nahuatl vocabulary that could be associated with this iconographic scene: cuauhtequi, to cut wood, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/cuauhtequi, cuauhtequiliztli, the act of cutting wood, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/cuauhtequiliztli, cuauhtectli, wood that has been cut, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/cuauhtectli, cuauhtequini, one who cuts wood, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/cuauhtequini, and cuauhxinqui, one who saws or cuts wood. We include this vocabulary here, given its applicability. But we have chosen to highlight xima, given that some of the glyphs in this collection feature the action of this verb and its result (ximalli). The combining root (-xin-) also appears. See examples below.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


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: 

trabajadores, carpinteros, oficios, hachas, cobre, madera, cortar

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

Codex Mendoza, folio 70 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 150 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: