Olac (Mdz20r)

Olac (Mdz20r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Olac (or Xochimilco Olac), features two especially prominent elements, a rubber (olli} ball in the midst of a flow of water {atl). The locative suffix (-c) is not shown visually unless we count the parcel of agricultural land with flowers growing on it as a semantic locative.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Olac was one of the four principal parts of Cuauhnahuac (Cuenavaca), but there were other communities with this name, too. The land parcel with flowers is reminiscent of Xochimilco. According to Gordon Whittaker, there was a place named Xochimilco Olac, along with a place named Xochimilco (mentioned in a discussion at the Library of Congress on 4/18/2023).

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 

Olac, 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: 
Writing Features: 
Cultural Content & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Parts (compounds or simplex + notation): 
Number of Parts, Other / Comment: 

Two elements are key to the place name, but the additional elements (the parcel and the flowers growing on it) have a semantic value for placing this town.

Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 
Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Karttunen’s Interpretation: 

"Rubber-Sap Place" (where liquid latex is drawn or processed) [Frances Karttunen, unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"On the Spring" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, p. 196)

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

"El Lugar de la Savia de Goma"

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 20 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 50 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).