camachalli (Mdz42r)

camachalli (Mdz42r)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element for a jaw bone (camachalli) has been carved from the compound glyph for the place name Tecamachalco. The jaw is made of stone in this case, because of the te(tl) (stone) part of the place name. Thus, it has purple and terracotta (or orange) wavy stripes and curling features that are typical of stones or rocky outcroppings. A full set of white teeth (or six, symbolically representing the full set), set in an open mouth, draw attention to the jaw. The teeth and mouth are shown in profile, facing to the viewer's right.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The full set of teeth is typically indicative of the post-position, or locative suffix, -titlan, but in this case the teeth are simply there to point to the presence of a jaw bone.

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

c. 1541, but by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Syntax (patterns): 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 

jaws, mandíbulas

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

la mandíbula

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 42 recto,, image 94 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).