pano (Mdz38r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element for the verb pano (shown as a footprint) has been carved from the compound glyph for the place name, Iztapan. The footprint is for a right foot, horizontal, heading toward the viewer's right.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

This is the same type of print that is shown on maps to indicate roads, trails, or pathways, given that it indicates human movement across a landscape. In the compound from which this footprint derives, however, it provides the phonetic value for the locative suffix -pan (meaning on or in). When the footprint appears above another glyphic element, it represents the verb pano (shortened to -pan, on), as it does here. In other glyphs, where it appears below another glyphic element, it is referring to a road (otli), and provides the phonetic "yo" (referring to a place characteristic of that other thing, full of it, having a lot of it). [See Gordon Whittaker's discussion of this in Deciphering Aztec Hieroglyphs, 2021, 100.]

Footprint glyphs have a wide range of translations. In this collection, so far, we can attest to yauh, xo, pano, -pan, paina, temo, nemi, quetza, otli, iyaquic hualiloti, huallauh, tetepotztoca, totoco, -tihui, and the vowel "o." Other research (Herrera et al, 2005, 64) points to additional terms, including: choloa, tlaloa, totoyoa, eco, aci, quiza, maxalihui, centlacxitl, and xocpalli.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

c. 1541, but by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 

foot, feet, footprints, travel, crossing, going over, traveling

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

to cross over

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 


Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 38 recto,, image 86 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).

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