Atlatlauhcan (Mdz25r)

Atlatlauhcan (Mdz25r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Atlatlauhcan (or Atlatlauhca) is comprised of two elements, a container of water [normally, apantli, but there is no -apan- in this place name, so just atl), filled with red (tlatlauhqui) water. The container has a yellow exterior structure and curls on the ends (on both the right and the left). The water has wavy black lines of varying thickness suggesting waves or currents; two of the black lines in the middle are especially thick. The -can locative suffix is not shown visually in this glyph.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The final analysis of this glyph is a challenge. The most obvious, literal reading is "Place of Red Water" (see Berdan and Anawalt), but it might also be that the color red was used because it provided the reduplication for atlauhtli (ravine or barranca, in Spanish). The result could be, just following the phonetics, "Place of Ravines." If this is Atlatlauhcan, Morelos, there are at least three ravines around it, according to the geography description in Wikipedia. If the name is about ravines, then this is another example where we should not take a glyph literally. Frances Karttunen suggests: "Where There Are Barrancas Here and There," with the "here and there" deriving from the reduplication of the beginning of the word for ravine (atlauhtli). She adds that she is assuming the reduplication would be ātlahtlauh- rather than ahātlauh-.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

atlatlavca. puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Atlatlauhcan, pueblo (possibly San Mateo Atlatlahucan, State of Morelos, today)

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, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 

water, colors, red, canals, canales, agua, rojo

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

a(tl) or ā(tl), water,
tlatlauh(qui), red,
atlauh(tli) or ātlauh(tli), , ravine (barranca in Spanish),
-can< or -cān/em> (locative suffix),

Karttunen’s Interpretation: 

"Where There Are Barrancas Here and There" [Frances Karttunen, unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"Place of Red Water" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, p. 173)

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

"Donde Hay Varias Barrancas"

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 25 recto,, image 60 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).