Acazacatla (Mdz50r)

Acazacatla (Mdz50r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Acazacatla (or Acazacatlan, if the final "n" was inadvertently dropped) has two principal elements, reeds (acatl) and grasses (zacatl). The reeds are a blue-green/turquoise and are superimposed in front of the yellow grasses, closer to the viewer. Both are vertical. There is a horizontal white rectangle at the base of the reeds.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Instead of two morphemes being intended, Frances Karttunen notes that this is one compound word, acazacatl (reed-grass). The locative suffix (-tla or -tlan) might not be pictured, or the location could be represented symbolically by the horizontal white base below the plants. Was the addition of a base like this a type of "grounding" that reflected European influence in the Nahua artistic style? Note the segmented white base of such reeds a the tolin (below, right).

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

acaçacatla, puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Acazacatla, pueblo [or Acazacatlan, depending upon whether the final n was inadvertently omitted]

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: 
Writing Features: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Parts (compounds or simplex + notation): 
Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 
Other Cultural Influences: 

grass, grasses, reed, reeds, canes, plant, plants, weeds, plantas, zacate, cañas

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

"Land Full of Reed Grass" (if Acazacatla) or "Reed Grass Place" (if Acazacatlan) [Frances Karttunen, unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"Land Full of Reed-Grass" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, p. 167)

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

Tierra Con Mucha Caña-Zacate

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 50 recto,, image 110 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).