Calli Imayan (Mdz33r)

Calli Imayan (Mdz33r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Calli Imayan shows two houses or buildings (calli) that have been put in a horizontal row, arranged. The buildings are facing toward the viewer's right. The buildings are white with a terracotta color given to the t-shaped beams (both vertical and horizontal), which are probably wooden. The locative suffix (-yan) is not shown visually.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

It is tempting to see the "Imayan" as a possessed noun, such as maítl (hand, arm; perhaps building extensions), plus a locative. But, the locative suffix -yan is one that attaches to verbs and indicates customary action. Karttunen wonders if the verb could be "ma," to hunt. But it may be imati. Daniel Brinton's translation of the verb imati, includes this one: "to prepare or arrange something skillfully." [See our Online Nahuatl Dictionary.] Berdan and Anawalt (The Codex Mendoza, 1992, v. 1, p. 175) also support this reading.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

cali ymayan. puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Calli Imayan, pueblo (Calimaya today)

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

c. 1541, but by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Xitlali Torres

Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 

houses, buildings, arrangements, in order, building extensions, Calli Imayan, casas, edificios, arreglos, extensiones de edificios, architecture, casas, edificios, arquitectura, poner en orden, -yan locative

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

cal(li), house/building,
imati, "to prepare or arrange something skillfully" (Brinton),
ma, to hunt, to capture,
-yan (locative suffix), place of this customary action,

Karttunen’s Interpretation: 

Frances Karttunen, who gives the orthographic rendering of this place name as: Calli Imāyān, writes: "I'm stumped. Grammatically it looks like a place where a house/houses customarily hunt. If calli can refer to a group of people who live together, then it would be ok." She is basing this on a reading of the verb as ma, "to go hunting." She says it cannot be a possessed maitl (hand) because -yan is a suffix that attaches to verbs. [Frances Karttunen, unpublished manuscript, used here with permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"Place Where They Put Houses in Order" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, p. 175; these authors write the place name Caliymayan))

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 33 recto,, image 76 of 188.

Image Source, Rights: 

Original manuscript is held by the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, MS. Arch. Selden. A. 1; used here with the UK Creative Commons, “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License” (CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0)