huitztli (Mdz47r)

huitztli (Mdz47r)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element for the word thorn or spine (huitztli) has been carved from the compound sign for the place name, Huitztlan. It is upright, with the point at the bottom. The thorn has thorns of its own along what for the viewer is the left side. That side is also red, perhaps recalling blood. The right side is turquoise blue.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Thorns or spines have an association with blood letting, with has an an association, in turn, with religious offerings.

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

Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood


thorns, spines, blood, sacrifice, sacrificio, ofrendas, sangre

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

Codex Mendoza, folio 47 recto,, image 104 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).