Ahuehuepan (Mdz24v)

Ahuehuepan (Mdz24v)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Ahuehuepan includes two principal visual components: the ahuehue(tl) or āhuēhuē(tl) (a type of cypress) tree sitting atop (which could imply the -pan, or "on," locative suffix) a standing, cylindrical drum [the huehue(tl) or huēhuē(tl)]. The tree has a leader and two side branches with two-tone green foliage. The bark is terracotta in color. The drum, also colored terracotta, has three horizontal lines, one at the top and two toward the bottom. It also has zig-zagging lines at the bottom reminiscent of the way the legs would have been cut.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Drum is phonetically reinforcing the reading of this particular tree as an ahuehuetl. This is Mexico's "national tree" today. Called an "ahuehuete" in Spanish, this tree can live for centuries and become massive, as seen in the town of El Tule in the state of Oaxaca, where it dwarfs the church standing next to it. The girth of the drum in this glyph might also point to the size of the trunk of the ahuehuetl, playing an semantic role. Note how this one compares to other, thinner ones (below, right).

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

ahuehuepan, puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Ahuehuepan, pueblo

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: 
Cultural Content & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Reading Order: 
Keywords: 

ahuehuetes, huehuetes, drums, trees, cypresses

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

ahuehue(tl) or āhuēhuē(tl), cypress tree, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/ahuehuetl
huehue(tl) or huēhuē(tl), upright drum, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/huehuetl
-pan (locative suffix), https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/pan

Karttunen’s Interpretation: 

"Cypress Place" [Frances Karttunen, unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"On the Cypress" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, p. 170)

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

"Lugar de los Ahuehuetes"

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 24 verso, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 59 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).