Cuauhxayacatitlan (Mdz13v)

Cuauhxayacatitlan (Mdz13v)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Cuauhxayacatitlan includes a tree (cuahuitl) and, superimposed on the tree, a face or mask (xayacatl)]. The face is forward, rather than in profile. Note the mask or face in profile, below, right. A full mouth of teeth (tlantli) is visible, which might point to the locative suffix -tlan, preceded by ligature -ti-. The tree trunk and the face are painted a terracotta color. The tree has a leader and two side branches, each with a two-tone green foliage. The tree also has visible, red, curling roots.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Frances Berdan suggests mask(s) rather than face for the interpretation of this glyph, given that xayacatl can refer to either a face or a mask. The "cuauh" (stem from cuahuitl) can mean wood as well as tree, and the cuauh- modifies the -xayaca-, which explains the reading of wooden masks. Frances Karttunen seems to support this reading, too.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

quauhxayacatitlā. puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Cuauhxayacatitlan, pueblo

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

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

trees, faces, masks, roots, árboles, caras, máscaras, raíces, Quauhxayacatitlan

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

"Among the Wooden Masks" (she appears to agree with the Berdan and Anawalt analysis) [Frances Karttunen, unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"Among the Wooden Masks" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, 203)

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

"Entre las Máscaras de Madera"

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood (translating Berdan's interpretation)

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 13 verso,, image 37 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).