citlalin popoca (TR44v)

citlalin popoca (TR44v)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This colorful painted version of a comet (citlalin popoca, the star smokes) is being called an example of iconography here that is not precisely glossed. However, there is some confidence that we can call it citlalin popoca thanks to the terms in our Online Nahuatl Dictionary, and the way this sign compares to actual glyphs (see below). The star (citlalin) that represents the comet is a European-influenced, white, eight-point star in a blue sky. This big star is surrounded by other stars that are painted as white circles in the same blue sky (ilhuicatl). The sky has a yellow band around it, a detail that harkens back to much earlier Nahua ways of painting an ilhuicatl. See the popocatetl example below for an older sky shape. Arising from the star are five volutes of dark gray, gold, and red; these point to the verb used to describe something that emits smoke (popoca).

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

dezen que humeava
la Estrella

Gloss Normalization: 

dicen que humeaba la estrella

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 

ca. 1550–1563

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Cultural Content & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood

Other Cultural Influences: 

stars, estrellas, cometas, comets, smoke, humo, humeante, humeaba, cielo, skies, iconografía

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

citlalin popoca, the star smokes, smoking star, or comet,

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

la estrella humeante, estrella fumadora, cometa

Image Source: 

Telleriano-Remensis Codex, folio 44 recto, MS Mexicain 385, Gallica digital collection,

Image Source, Rights: 

The non-commercial reuse of images from the Bibliothèque nationale de France is free as long as the user is in compliance with the legislation in force and provides the citation: “Source / Bibliothèque nationale de France” or “Source / BnF.”