nochtli (Mdz43r)

nochtli (Mdz43r)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element of a prickly pear cactus fruit (nochtli) has been carved from the compound sign for the place name, Nocheztlan. The fruit is green with white thorns (plus one that is half red, half white) and some red details in the flower at the top.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Thorns from some plants were used for bloodletting (auto-sacrifice), which may explain their coloring here. Some glyphic representations of flint knives (tecpatl) are also red and white.

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, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 

cactus fruit, cochineal, cochinilla, prickly pear, nopalli

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

noch(tli), prickly pear cactus fruit,
m=nochez(tli), cochineal, a red dye from insects on the prickly pear cactus,

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 43 recto,, image 96 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).