nacochtli (Mdz42r)

nacochtli (Mdz42r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This simplex glyph of an earplug (nacochtli) stands for the place name Nacochtlan. It has the fairly representational anatomy of a nacaztli (human ear, shown in a flesh tone) with the added element of a turquoise earplug. The plug goes through the lobe.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Xiuhnacochtli was the more specific name for a turquoise earplug, an item of high preciosity and prestige, as is indicated in our online Nahuatl Dictionary. The dictionary also attests to other types of earplugs, aside from those made of turquoise, such as golden, obsidian, leather, and feather earplugs, as made well known in the work of Justyna Olko (Turquoise Diadems and Staffs of Office, 2005, see p. 162).

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

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

Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

SVG of Glyph: 
SVG Image, Credit: 

Joseph Scott and Crystal Boulton-Scott made the SVG.


jewelry, turquoise, stone, ear plugs

Museum & Rare Book Comparisons: 
Museum/Rare Book Notes: 

nacochtli. Greenstone offering, Museo del Templo Mayor. Photograph by Robert Haskett, 15 February 2023.

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

ear plug

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

la orejera

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 
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).