Xipetlan (Mdz39r)

Xipetlan (Mdz39r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

According to Berdan and Anawalt (1992, vol. 1, p. 178), this simplex glyph for the place name that the gloss names as "Chipetlan" is not really intending a stem of Chipe- but really Xipe-. They state: “The glyph shows a head of the god Xipe Totec, ‘Our lord the Flayed One.’ He wears his characteristic red and white pointed cap, which elsewhere stands alone as an ideography for the god (see the glyph for Yopico, folio 20r). He wears a divine ear ornament; his face is yellow (suggesting its flayed condition) with a streak of blood through the eye.” This male deity is shown only as an adorned head in profile view, facing to the viewer’s right. His mouth is open, but no teeth are showing. On folio 10r of the Matrícula de Tributos this deity is facing to the left, his mouth is still open, his ear ornament (yellow or gold) is somewhat different, and he has some hair showing from under the pointy hat. The locative suffix (-tlan) is not shown visually.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

This glyph also stands for the "month" of Tlacaxipehualiztli, the "Flaying of Humans." Various example of this month glyph appear in a table created for "An Introduction to Nahuatl Hieroglyphic Writing, 2013 Maya Meetings & Workshops, University of Texas, Austin, January 15 ‐ 17, 2013," p. 5. https://www.academia.edu/8311625/An_Introduction_to_Nahuatl_Hieroglyphic....

Again, according to Berdan and Anawalt (1992, vol. 1, p. 178), “Xipe Totec was an important god to the peoples of this southern Mexican region. Images similar to this one are drawn on the Humboldt Fragment I (Seler 1904a).”

The design of the hat looks much like the sign for Yopico (below, right). Information about Yopico suggests that it was a settlement of Yopes, apparently a group from Oaxaca. According to Wikipedia, a Zapotec deity, Yopi, is represented on Classic Period urns of the Zapotecs.

But this pueblo, Chipetlan, may be the one that was a settlement subordinate to Tlachinola (originally Tlachinollan) and in the municipality of Tlapa (originally Tlappan, today Tlapa de Comonfort), Guerrero. [Source: Pedro Carrasco, The Tenochca Empire of Ancient Mexico, 2012, 278.] Carrasco notes that some of the Tlappaneca spoke Nahuatl and some spoke Yopi. This could explain the graphic similarities between the glyphs for Yopico and Chipetlan.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 

Chipetlan, pueblo

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

Other Cultural Influences: 

hats, caps, sombreros, gorras, etnicidades

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

-tlan (locative suffix), place, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/tlan

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

“Place of Xipe” (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, p. 178)

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 39 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 88 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)

See Also: