iczotl (Mdz42r)

iczotl (Mdz42r)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element for iczotl (yucca palm) has been carved from the compound sign for the place name, Iczochinanco. The iczotl shown in this image is standing upright, with a light orange trunk, and two-toned green foliage. In between these elements is a skirt-like fringe in a yellow color that seems to represent spent branches (once green, they turn yellow or tan in color as they dry). The trunk of the yucca tree also has a texture somewhat representative of the yucca palm in nature.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The place name suggests that the iczotl was growing on a chimamitl (well-watered agricultural parcel on the lake shore, called a chinampa in contemporary Mexican Spanish). The iczotl appears to be a yucca palm, according to translations captured in our online dictionary. The Gran Diccionario del Náhuatl provides a visual of the plant from a manuscript. That image shows a white flower at the top, which really adds to the impression of a yucca or yucca palm. The yucca produces a fiber used for making clothing and sandals. An ancient Puebloan sandal made from yucca fiber has been published by the National Park Service.

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

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

yucca plant

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 42 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 94 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).