nochtli (Mdz36r)

nochtli (Mdz36r)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element has been carved from the compound sign for the place name, Nochtepec. The nochtli is a fruit that derives from the flower on the top of a prickly pear cactus plant. The fruit is bulb-shaped, green, and has a red and yellow blossom at the top. It also has red and white thorns or spines.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The spines of several plants were used for bloodletting (self-sacrifice), and this may explain why these spines here are colored red and white, something like the flint knives (tecpatl), as can be seen below, right.

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

c. 1541, but by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City


cactus fruits, tunas

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 36 recto,, image 82 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).