Cuatlatlauhcan (Mdz42r)

Cuatlatlauhcan (Mdz42r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Cuatlatlauhcan has two principal visual elements. One is the human head [cuaitl and the other is the color red [tlatlauh(qui, which is the color given to the top of the head (paint? a tattoo?) or to a cap the person is wearing. The person is presumably male, in profile, looking to the viewer's right. His face is a terracotta color, although his eye is white. The cap, as noted is red and very simple. The earlobe is elongated, probably for wearing an earplug, although no jewelry is visible. The locative suffix (-can) is not shown visually.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Frances Karttunen does not interpret the "head" as literal, instead providing the reading of "cua" as summit or apex, hence her translation of this as a place where there is a "red summit." Berdan and Anawalt suggested a very different reading, about hair color. Some interpretations might be drawn to a possible ethnic reference, pointing to the cap and the ear.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 

Cuatlatlauhan, pueblo

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

Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 
Parts (compounds or simplex + notation): 
Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 

heads, cabezas, summits, cumbres, colors, colores

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

"Place Where There is a Red Summit" [Frances Karttunen, unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"Place of Red Heads" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, 200)

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

"El Lugar de la Cumbre Roja"

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).