Cuezallan (Mdz6r)

Cuezallan (Mdz6r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Cuezallan consists of two principal components. The scarlet macaw tail feathers (cuezalin) are the predominant feature. Five feathers are visible, and they have a white, twisted tie holding them together. The feathers are standing upright, with the tips at the top. These tips are not turquoise blue, as they appear in some other glyphs. The teeth (tlantli) are the phonetic indicator for the locative suffix, -tlan, place of, rather than -tla (or -tlah), place of abundance of.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The bundling of the feathers with the rope or string might recall the verb cueza, to baste a garment together, underscoring the reading of cuezalin over, perhaps, ihuitl (feathers). These precious feathers had an association with fire, and therefore the deity of fire, as well as the deity associated with death. See: Alfredo López Austin, Los mitos del tlacuache: caminos de la mitología mesoamericana (1996), 194. Note the flame (tletl), below on the right. Two other examples of cuezalin feathers also appear below, right.

Gordon Whittaker, in Deciphering Aztec Hieroglyphs, 2021, 102, has discovered that the full set of teeth (top and bottom) are used when the ligature -ti- appears before the locative suffix -tlan. This is an exception.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

cueçalan. puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Cuezallan, 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

Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 

feathers, birds, teeth, tie, atar, plumas, pájaros, dientes

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

"Scarlet Macaw Feather Place" [Frances Karttunen, unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"Where There Are Many Scarlet Macaw Feathers" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, p. 182)

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

"Lugar de las Plumas del Guacamayo Macao"

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).