Oztoticpac (Mdz10v)

Oztoticpac (Mdz10v)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Oztoticpac includes two visual elements, a cave (oztotl) in the shape of an animal head with its mouth open, and, above the head, a ball of yarn or thread (icpatl). The -ti- ligature and the locative suffix -c are not shown visually. The cave mouth is presented as the open mouth of an animal. It looks right as us in this example, whereas in some cases the animal head is shown in profile. The animal's head is predominantly painted in two tones of green, with some turquoise-colored details, a red and yellow mouth, and white teeth.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The ball of yarn or thread (icpatl) actually provides the phonetic value for the locative suffix -icpac (on top of, or above). The meaning of the place name, therefore, has nothing to do with textiles, but likely refers to a settlement that is above a cave or caves. Because the the concept of "above" has an object (the cave), we are considering the icpatl to be both a noun and a preposition. The animal's head has some curly features that may indicate rocky outcroppings. The cave is depicted as what some call the "earth monster," given that entering a cave was like going into the earth, the underworld, and that has religious significance. See: James E. Brady and ‎Keith M. Prufer, In the Maw of the Earth Monster: Mesoamerican Ritual Cave Use (2013). The colors red and yellow are often used as real or symbolic entryways to human bodies or the insides of mountains.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 

Oztoticpac, 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, cuevas, mostruos, monsters, yarn, thread, hilo

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

"Above the Cave" (concurring with Berdan and Anawalt) [Frances Karttunen, unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"Above the Cave" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, p. )

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

"Arriba de la Montaña" o "Arriba del Cerro"

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

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).