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The second section of the Codex Mendoza lists the semi-annual tribute owed by 39 provinces of the Aztec Empire. Provinces nearer the Aztec capital contributed more staple and bulk goods, while those farther away paid more of their tribute in higher-value, lower-bulk items, which often had to be acquired from beyond their own territory. This, the richest page of the "matrícula de tributos," lists the tribute for the province of Tochtepec in the Gulf coastal lowlands of northern Oaxaca and southern Veracruz. The 22 towns of the province are listed around the left side and bottom of the page, continuing halfway up the right side. The glyph for the provincial capital of Tochtepec (“rabbit hill”) appears in the upper left corner of the page, and is a good example of the use of the rebus principle in Aztec writing. Each class of tribute items is depicted, many with numeric glyphs to indicate quantities greater than one (a flag for 20, a pine tree for 400, a tasseled incense bag with a central cross for 8,000, following the Mesoamerica base-20 mathematical system).

Tochtepec gave the following items in tribute every six months:

  • 1,600 richly decorated mantas (cloaks),
  • 800 striped mantas
  • 400 women’s tunics and skirts

Tochtepec gave the following in tribute once a year:

  • 1 quetzaltototl warrior costume
  • 1 tlahuitectli shield
  • 1 device with yellow feathers worn on the back
  • 1 gold diadem
  • 1 gold headband
  • 1 necklace of gold beads
  • 1 necklace of gold beads and bells
  • 3 large greenstone beads
  • 3 necklaces of round beads
  • 4 necklaces of round and long greenstone beads
  • 20 lip plugs of clear amber, decorated with gold
  • 20 lip plugs of crystal, set in blue smalt and gold
  • 80 handfuls of rich green (quetzal) feathers
  • 16,000 balls of rubber
  • 4 bundles of rich green feathers trimmed with yellow feathers
  • 8,000 little handfuls of rich blue feathers
  • 8,000 little handfuls of rich red feathers
  • 8,000 little handfuls of rich green feathers
  • 100 pots of fine liquidambar (gum tree sap)
  • 200 loads of cacao


Berdan, Frances F., and Patricia Reiff Anawalt (1992) The Codex Mendoza,Vol. II, pp. 112-114. University of California Press.

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