Mapachtepec (Mdz47r)

Mapachtepec (Mdz47r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Mapachtepec and three principal visual elements: the thief (mapachtli) in action, represented by an arm and hand (maitl) grabbing a clump of chaff or straw (pachtli) above a hill or mountain (tepetl). The arm is horizontal, with a left hand reaching into the frame from the left. It has a terracotta color, but the fingernails are white. The locative suffix (-c) (as given in the gloss) is not shown visually, but it combines with -tepe- to form -tepec, a visual locative suffix meaning "on the hill" or "on the mountain."

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

There is redundancy provided in the overlapping ma of maitl (hand), the ma of the verb to take or capture, the mapachtli (thief), and pachtli (chaff or straw) to ensure the correct reading and provide clues to the phonetics. According to Gordon Whittaker, we should pay attention to the upright hand without an arm attached versus the more horizontal or diagonal arm, which can have readings other than maitl, such as the ma of capture, ana of grab, or poloa of destroy (see: Deciphering Aztec Hieroglyphs, 2021, 104).

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
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

Shapes and Perspectives: 
Parts (compounds or simplex + notation): 
Number of Parts, Other / Comment: 

The hand and its contents are counted as two elements here, even though there is overlap.

Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 

racoons, thieves, thievery, stealing, mountains, hills

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"On the Hill of the Raccoon" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, p. 191)

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).