icpatl (Mdz10v)

icpatl (Mdz10v)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element for icpatl, a ball of yarn or thread, has been carved from the compound sign for the place name, Oztoticpac. The ball is drawn in black and white. It is round, with concentric circles. It also has a cross over it, perhaps an indication that the thread was tied across the ball to keep it from unravelling.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

In the original compound glyphs, the ball was placed near the cave as a visual locative, serving here as a phonetic indicator for -icpac, the adverb that tells where, above or on top of something. It is something of a homophone for icpac. It is also interesting how this round ball has a cross over it, making it appear as a quincunx, as though the person who made the ball was thinking of the cosmos, such as the universe and four cardinal directions.

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

yarn or thread

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 10 verso, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 31 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).