Nocheztlan (Mdz15v)

Nocheztlan (Mdz15v)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Nocheztlan ("Near the Cochineal") features a bowl of cochineal (nocheztli), the red dye. It is not uncommon for the letters "e" and "i" to be somewhat interchangeable, so Nochiztlan would be an acceptable orthographic variant. The locative suffix (-tlan) in the place name is represented phonetically by the teeth (tlantli). The basket of cochineal has two cactus fruits (nochtli) sitting on top. This may be an iconographic clue that the bowl had cochineal in it compared to, perhaps, achiotl (achiote, a food seasoning).

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Incidentally, the name for cochineal seems to combine nochtli cactus fruit with eztli (blood), which makes sense given that it is a red dye. When the cochineal insect is squished on one's hand, it appears to be like blood. See below, right for the bowl of achiotl, for comparison. It is also red.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

nochiztlan. puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Nocheztlan, pueblo

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: 
Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 

cactus fruits, cactus blood, red dyes, cochineal, insects

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

Cerca [del Lugar] de la Cochinilla

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 15 verso,, 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).