In Mexico, at least as early as the 16th century – ?, a measure of length among the Aztec. With both arms outstretched horizontally, the distance from the farthest extended fingertip to the elbow of the other arm. About 1.25 meters. Also spelled cenmitl. There is some controversy over whether the cemmitl should be measured to the wrist or to a fingertip.
According to Molina, (1571): “medida desdel un codo hasta la otra mano” (measure from an elbow to the other hand).
Brinton says “From the elbow to the wrist of the opposite arm, cemmitl, an arrow, a shaft, from ce and mitl, arrow, this distance being the approved length of an arrow.”
Daniel G. Brinton.
The Lineal Measures of the Semi-Civilized Nations of Mexico and Central America.
Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 18, no. 118 pages 194-197 (March 1885).
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Last revised: 21 May 2007.