callalli (FCbk11f227v)

callalli (FCbk11f227v)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This is a compound glyph for callal(li). The entry concerned with it appears on folio 227 verso in Book 11, “Earthly Things,” of the General History of the Things of New Spain, also known as the Florentine Codex. The compound glyph consists of an image of a house [cal(li)] sited on top of a low platform or mound-like figure which stands for “land” [tlal(li)]. The compound glyph is rendered in black outline with gray shading. The house faces the viewer, rather than in profile as was the convention in earlier Nahua depictions of such structures. This frontal view, though not unknown in older manuscripts, may betray growing Spanish cultural influence. Otherwise, the house has many typical features, including a central door topped by a lintel and with columns or door jambs on either side, shaded in gray, with foundation-like bands of black-outlined gray projected to the right and left of the jambs at the structures base. A narrower dark gray band runs horizontally below the roof line.

Description, Credit: 

Robert Haskett

Added Analysis: 

The reader would need to know that the low, featureless mound signifies “land,” and that the image is referring to a type of agricultural plot rather than just the house situated on it. Thus, an accurate reading of the glyph seems to rely, at least in part, on the alphabetic text accompanying it. This states that “there is another kind of fertile land called callalli, which means land where some house has been built, and afterwards it is cultivated and planted.” In other words, this refers to “house land,” the core of fertile property surrounding a home used for subsistence crops.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Robert Haskett

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 


Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Robert Haskett

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Syntax (patterns): 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Robert Haskett

Number of Parts (of compounds): 
Reading Order: 
Other Cultural Influences: 

land, field, tierra, house, building, casa, edificio

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

callal(li), house-land, cultivated land that goes with the dwelling complex of a household,
cal(li), house, hut, building, structure,
tlal(li), a piece of land, a parcel, and agricultural field,

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

la tierra donde se encuentra una casa

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 
Image Source, Rights: 

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Historical Contextualizing Image: