ocelotl (TR16r)

ocelotl (TR16r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This example of the iconography of a jaguar (ocelotl) from the Codex Telleriano Remensis is anthropomorphized, with the human head protruding from the animal's jaws and seemingly wearing the skin. The person is shown in profile, facing toward the viewer's left, and leaning forward as though walking. The skin of the jaguar retains the open eye and the protruding teeth, along with large claws and long sharp nails. The hide is a brown color with dark gray spots. Some black appears above the white eye and on the tips of the ears. The human face has a black band across his face at the level of his eyes. His teeth also show. The person carries a white banner on a long stick. He has a headdress with lots of down feathers and two long white (heron?) feathers; five of these long feathers also appear on an added tail. On the back of the skin is a skein of hair or rope (follow the link below for a very similar skein that appears in the place name glyph for Cuatzontepec in the Codex Mendoza).

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The black face stripe has an association with divine forces relating to fertility, according to Eloise Quiñones Keber (Codex Telleriano-Remensis, 1995), 165.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 

ocelotl / tigre

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 

ca. 1550–1563

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood


animals, animales, jaguares, skins, pieles, banderas, plumas, cordones, cabello, pelo, garras

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

el jaguar

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Telleriano-Remensis Codex, folio 16 recto, MS Mexicain 385, Gallica digital collection, https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8458267s/f57.item.zoom

Image Source, Rights: 

The non-commercial reuse of images from the Bibliothèque nationale de France is free as long as the user is in compliance with the legislation in force and provides the citation: “Source gallica.bnf.fr / Bibliothèque nationale de France” or “Source gallica.bnf.fr / BnF.”

Historical Contextualizing Image: 
See Also: