pochtecatl (Mdz29r)

pochtecatl (Mdz29r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This simplex glyph for a long-distance merchant (pochtecatl) also represents the place name, Hueipochtlan.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

This glyph shows the head of a male merchant, with long yellow hair, a red face, and turquoise lips. On his head he wears a long green feather, possibly a quetzalli feather, which has a shorter brown feather at its base, possibly an eagle feather. Below that is a down feather ball, tlateloloyotl). A pochtecatl (plural: pochteca) was originally a person from Pochtlan, but that ethnic term apparently gave way to the occupational propensity of the Pochteca. Some ethnicity, however, may still be imbedded in the face paint and/or hairstyle of the man shown in this glyph. Otherwise, the pochteca (plural for pochtecatl) had a certain look meant to identify them as traveling vendors.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss 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: 

trader, traveling vendor, pochteca, tratante, etnicidad

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

pochteca(tl), a long-distance merchant, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/pochtecatl

Karttunen’s Interpretation: 

Regarding the "poch" element in the place name, the occupation, and ethnicity: "There seems to be a morpheme in ichpo:ch- 'young woman' and telpo:ch- 'young man' that may also occur in the deity names o:po:ch- and hui:zilo:po:ch-. It forms its plural by reduplication: po:po:ch-; cf. telpo:po:chtin 'young men' rather than simply tel.po:chtin."
{Source: Frances Karttunen, unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

long-distance merchant

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 29 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 68 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).