huexolotl (Mdz16r)

huexolotl (Mdz16r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This simplex glyph for turkey (huexolotl) also represents the place name, Huexolotlan. The turkey (guajolote in Mexican Spanish), has mottled black and white feathers on its legs and body. The bird's head, however, if shown here as very colorful. It has a red throat, the head is turquoise blue, and it has small red balls scattered over the top of the head. Here is a photo of a Mexican turkey.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The huexolotl) was a tribute item. The bird also had associations with Tetzcatlipoca and other divinities. The turkey hen could be called totolin or cihuatotolin. Alexander von Humboldt wrote: "New Spain has supplied Europe with the largest and most useful of domestic gallinaceous birds, the turkey (totolin or huexolotl) which was formerly found wild on the back of the Cordilleras, from the Isthmus of Panama to New England" (Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, vol. 3, p. 55, of 1811).

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

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


huehxolotl, vesulotl, uexolotl, turkeys, turkey cock, turkey cocks, gallipavo, aves de corral, birds, guajolotes, fowl

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

turkey cock

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

el guajolote o el pavo

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 16 recto,, image 42 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).