Oztoman (Mdz10v)

Oztoman (Mdz10v)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Oztoman has two principal elements, an earth monster head, which serves to indicate a cave (oztotl), and a (right) hand (maitl). The entrance to the cave is through the monster's mouth. This is a frontal view of the monster, with its yellow eyes viewing the observer. Its head is largely green (two-tone green), with some curling features on the broad cheeks, the top of its head, and chin, reminiscent of stony outcroppings on a mountain. Its nose and eyebrows are turquoise blue. The mouth is lined around the perimeter with yellow. There are four groups of white fangs with red gums, making it animal-like. The hand is standing up, with the wrist attached to the monster's head at about the temple.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The curly features around the perimeter of the monster's head recall the rocky outcroppings of the tepetl (hill, mountain) and the curling ends of the tetl (stone, rock), which help sustain the iconography of the cave. The yellow lining around the mouth is found on many glyphs where there is access to human or earthly interiors, as explained further in an essay accessible on the left navigation bar, "Red and Yellow: Interiors." Another compound glyph for the place name Oztoman (on folio 18 recto) shows the earth monster's head from a side view or profile. Entering a cave was like going into the earth, the underworld, and that has religious significance associated with earth monsters. See: James E. Brady and ‎Keith M. Prufer, In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use (2013). We are tracking profiles versus frontal views of various living and inanimate objects. The hand (maitl) provides the phonetic clue for the locative suffix -man, "where there are" (from the verb, mani). Frances Karttunen also recognizes the verb mani, to extend, as coming to play in this glyph (provided phonetically by the hand). Thus, even though the gloss does not end in "n," the locative suffix preferred here is -man.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

oztoma-- puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Oztoman, 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

Shapes and Perspectives: 
Parts (compounds or simplex + notation): 
Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 

caves, earth monster's, hands, cuevas, monstruos, manos, -man locative

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

"Where a Cave Extends" [Frances Karttunen, unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"Where Caves are Found," (Gordon Whittaker, Deciphering Aztec Hieroglyphs, 2021, 104); "Cave Made by Hand" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, p. )

Whittaker's Transliteration: 


Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 10 verso, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 31 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).