Coyocac (Mdz13r)

Coyocac (Mdz13r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Coyocac begins with a coyote (coyotl) head at the top. The coyote faces to the viewer's left. His coat is terracotta colored, but under his chin it is white. His mouth is open, and we can see some teeth. Below the coyote head is a white sandal (cactli) with a red tie. Below that is a seated woman, kneeling as was the custom, wearing a skirt and a huipilli. She also faces to the viewer's left, with one arm reaching out. She has very short gray or purple hair.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The coyote is a phonetic indicator that is meant to provide the reading of "coyoc" [from coyoctli, hole] rather than literally a reference to the anima. The "ā" [from atl), water], and the locative suffix, -c, provide the meaning "By the Watering Hole," although water is not depicted. [See Gordon Whittaker, Deciphering Aztec Hieroglyphs, 2021, 100.]

The sandal phonetically reinforces the "cac" in the place name, but has no semantic contribution. The glyph for this place name in the Matrícula de Huexotzinco provides just the coyote head and the sandal.

Whittaker's interpretation differs from the one by Berdan and Anawalt, who apparently see the woman as representative of an ethnic group, the Coyuca. Wimmer's Nahuatl dictionary, cited in the UNAM's Tlachia also suggests a reading relating to the ethnicity.

The seated woman with a white tunic and skirt, her right arm stretched out before her, and a very short hairdo. Her hair stands out as unusual, being just a stubble, shorn off. Often, when human figures appear in a hieroglyphic place name they can provide a visual reference to the local ethnicity. See the other glyph for Coyocac in the Codex Mendoza (below, right), which is just a person's head with this same hair style.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

coyucac. puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Coyocac, pueblo (Coyuca de Benítez o Coyoquilla, Guerrero?)

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

Shapes and Perspectives: 
Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 

coyotes, sandals, huaraches, shoes, footwear, women, mujeres, huipiles

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Karttunen’s Interpretation: 

(Karttunen has not provided an independent interpretation for this glyph. See the scholars' interpretations, below.)

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"By the Watering Hole" (Whittaker, 2021, 100); "In the Place of the Coyuca" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, p. 181)

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

"Junto al Bebedero" o "Lugar de los Coyuca"

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 13 recto,, image 36 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).