Xiquipilco (Mdz10v)

Xiquipilco (Mdz10v)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This simplex glyph of the ritual bag that represents the number 8,000 (xiquipilli) stands for the place name Xiquipilco. This very decorative bag has, on the outside of the main compartment, a cross inside a circle. It also a handle at the top and three tassels—bottom center, right, and left. It is drawn entirely in black lines. The bag in this glyph is not colored, and the -co (locative suffix) is not shown visually.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The complicated cross in the middle of the circle is reminiscent of the glyph for teocuitlatl) (gold). The cross on the glyph for gold has been said to equal the number 8,000. [See: Philipp J. J. Valentini, "Mexican Copper Tools," Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, 1879, 93.] As shown in our online Nahuatl Dictionary, various sources such as the Florentine Codex and Chimalpahin's annals tell us that the bag once held (a literal or rounded number of) 8,000 cacao beans or pieces of incense. Cacao beans were like money. Then, the bag itself came to represent 8,000 when coupled with coins, with a number of tribute laborers, warriors, or with a tribute item such as rolled pieces of paper, as we see in a detail from the Codex Mendoza published in Mexicolore. The Aztecs/Nahuas had no glyph representing a number higher than 8,000, although, of course, 8,000 could be multiplied. The number is quintessentially vigesimal, tzontli (400) times cempohualli (20).

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

xiquipilco, puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Xiquipilco, pueblo

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

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood


chocolate, cocoa, cacao, 8000, eight thousand, bags, sacks

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

xiquipil(li), a sack or bag, or the number 8,000, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/xiquipilli

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 10 verso, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 31 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).