General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 28 Feb 2021/5 Monkey
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Aztec women’s hairstyles, Florentine Codex

Girls’ hair and make-up

This is an excerpt straight from Book VIII of the Florentine Codex, from ‘the Fifteenth Chapter, in which is described the adornment of the women...’ (Written/compiled by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore)

Their faces were painted with dry, coloured [powders]; faces were coloured with yellow ochre, or with bitumen. Feet were anointed with an unguent of burned copal incense and dye. They had hair hanging to the waist, or to the shoulders; or the young girls’ lock of hair; or the hair [twisted with black cord and] wound about the head; or the hair all cut the same length. [Some] cut their hair short, [so that] their hair reached to their noses. It was cut and dyed with black mud - [so] did they place importance upon their heads; it was dyed with indigo, so that their hair shone. The teeth were stained with cochineal; the hands were covered [with painting]. The stomach and breasts were [also] painted with designs...

• ochre: warmish coloured tint
• bitumen: sticky black tar
• unguent: creamy ointment
• indigo: a colour between blue and violet
• cochineal: a cactus insect that produces red dye when squashed

Image scanned from our copy of the Club Internacional del Libro 3-volume facsimile edition, Madrid, 1994
Info from The Florentine Codex Book 8 - Kings and Lords, translated by Arthur J O Anderson and Charles E Dibble, School of American Research, 1979

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