Otlazpan (Mdz28r)

Otlazpan (Mdz28r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This simplex glyph stands for the place name Otlazpan. It derives from otlatl), a type of cane something like bamboo. It is much like the canes called carrizo in Spanish, but they are longer and stronger. Here the otlatl appears as three upright stalks that are segmented and colored yellow. The stalks are fatter at the bottom and more pointed at the top. The locative suffix (-pan) is not shown visually.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Another example of otlatl as part of a place name, perhaps the same one as this, can be found on the Códice de Otlazpan, a neighbor of Tepejí del Río. It appears at the top of folio 11, and it has six stalks of bamboo. Another difference is that the plant's roots show in that example (published on line by Arqueología Mexicana). Frances Karttunen suggests that the "otla-" might be followed by -īxpan, which combines ix- (face, eye) with -pan, the locative suffix ("on" or "at"), to create the larger locative suffix -ixpan, "before" or "in front of," which leads to the reading she suggests as an alternative to "On the Bamboo." But, she adds, dropping the long vowel is problematical. So, I wonder if the verb "otlaza" ("to block the road") might be the root, even if the bamboo is there to provide a phonetic indicator?

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

otlazpā. puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Otlaxpan, 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


canes, carrizo, cañas, roads, caminos

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

"In Front of the Bamboo" [Frances Karttunen, unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"On the Bamboo" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, p. 197)

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 28 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 66 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).