Huixachtitlan (Mdz13v)

Huixachtitlan (Mdz13v)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name, Huixachtitlan, shows a huixachin tree. It is a tree with a white or neutral-colored trunk, very spiny, with a leader and two branches that have green foliage and what appear to be long yellow pods. The roots of the tree, colored red here, are intentionally made visible.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The presence of so many and such notable spines supports the reading that the Nahuatl root is huitztli (spine, thorn, spike), in combination with achin, "a lot of, many." Gordon Whittaker (Deciphering Aztec Hieroglyphs, 2021, 99) suggests this interpretation. These spines also show a slight red color at their base, which could be representative (botanically) or could point to the use of these spines for blood letting. The leaves had a role in the Aztec recipe for black ink. [See: Manuel Orozco y Berra, La civilización azteca (1988), 125.] The full set of teeth, also according to Gorgon Whittaker, are used (as here) when the ligature (-ti) is indicated before the -tlan locative.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

huixachtitlan. puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Huixachtitlan, 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): 

trees, bushes, spines, spiny, thorns, spikes, Huitzaxin, Huitzachin, Huitzache, arbustos, espinas, espinosas, árboles, arbustos

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

huixach(in), a spiny tree or bush in the acacia or mimosa family,
huitz(tli), thorn, spine, spike,
tlan(tli), tooth/teeth,
-titlan (locative suffix), near, by, among, between, beneath,
-tlan (locative suffix), place,

Karttunen’s Interpretation: 

"Among the Huixachin" (agreeing with Berdan and Anawalt) [Frances Karttunen, unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"Among the Huixachin" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, p. 189)

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

"Entre los Árboles Huixachin"

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 13 verso,, image 37 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).