cuezalin (Mdz37r)

cuezalin (Mdz37r)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element has been carved from the compound glyph on folio 37 recto of the Codex Mendoza for the place name, Cuezallan. This principal component of the compound glyph consists of four long feathers of the red macaw. The four feathers are standing vertically. They have turquoise blue tips.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

To the Nahuas, these feathers symbolized flames and fire. Thelma Sullivan, cited in our dictionary (in the reference elsewhere in this record), noted that Cuezaltzin (with the reverential ending) was one of the names of Xiuhtecutli, "God of Fire." Alfredo López Austin has also noted that Cuezalin was the name of a deity associated with death. See Los mitos del tlacuache (1996), p. 194.

Added 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

Syntax (patterns): 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 

cuizalin, cozalin, tail feathers, wing feathers, birds

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

cuezal(in), scarlet macaw wing or tail feathers,

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

red macaw tail and wing feathers

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

la cola y la plumas de las alas del guacamayo escarlata

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 37 recto,, image 84 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).