ahuatl (Mdz21v)

ahuatl (Mdz21v)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element has been carved from the compound glyph for the place name, Ahuatepec. It shows an oak tree with three branches, each with green foliage at the ends. Emerging from the green foliage we see turquoise-colored water (atl). So, this is an element from a compound glyph, but it still has two elements, with a downward reading order. This recurs across other examples of the sign for ahuatl, oak tree.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

This visual of water (atl) coming out of the branches of the tree is a phonetic clue that we are not seeing just any tree (cuahuitl), but a tree beginning with the sound "a." Wiktionary has an entry for ahuatl. Some Nahuas today also have the last name Ahuatl.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

c. 1541, but by 1553 at the latest

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

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

oak trees, robles, encinos, water, shells

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

oak tree

Whittaker's Transliteration: 

Mexico City

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

el roble

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 21 verso, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 53 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).