icpatl (Mdz15v)

icpatl (Mdz15v)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element has been carved from the compound sign for the place name, Icpatepec. This component is a ball of white thread or yarn (icpatl), drawn in black lines. The ball is characterized by concentric circles, but it also has a cross (horizontal and vertical), that may indicate threads that bind the ball together.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

While this image serves to represent, visually, a ball of yarn, it is phonetic indicator for "icpac," which means "on top of," as in On Top of the Mountain, referring to the place, Icapatepec (or Icpactepec). Therefore the noun doubles as a preposition.

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: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood


balls of yarn, balls of thread, above, atop, on top of, above

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

thread, yard, above, on top

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

la bola de hilo, o encima de

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 15 verso, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 41 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).