cuezalin (Mdz6r)

cuezalin (Mdz6r)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element has been carved from the compound sign for the place name, Cuezallan. This part consists of five standing scarlet macaw feathers, red with blue tips. The feathers are tied with a cord or rope.

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. These particular macaw feathers do not have blue tips, which some in this collection do have.

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: 

feathers, red and blue, bundled, flames, fire

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

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

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

red macaw feathers

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

las plumas de guacamayo escarlata

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 6 recto,, image 22, 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).