nahuatl (Mdz6r)

nahuatl (Mdz6r)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element for speech (nahuatl) or the verb to speak (nahua) has been carved from the compound glyph for the place name Cuauhnahuac on folio 6 recto of the Codex Mendoza. Here, a tree trunk emits the speech scroll that provides the word nahuatl that is a phonetic indicator for -nahuac. The scroll emerges going to the viewer's left from the tree trunk's "mouth." It has a curl turning under (toward the ground). It is painted turquoise blue.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

In the original compound, the glyph for speech has nothing to do with speaking but, rather, provides the phonetic element for -nahuac, a locative meaning near.

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


speak, speech, hablar, habla

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 6 recto,, image 22, 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).