poctli (Mdz46r)

poctli (Mdz46r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This simplex glyph of smoke (poctli) doubles as the place name Poctlan. It consists of four, two-tone curling puffs of rising smoke. The colors comprise a purple or gray outer layer and a glowing orange inner layer.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Curls of smoke appears in abundance in the Codex Mendoza, pouring out of a large number of temples that are tipping over in the visual shorthand for conquest. But this particular example comes from a place name glyph, making the reading of poctli very clear. This is also true of the place name glyph for Poctepec, shown here as an attestation. Poctli (principally the noun, smoke, can also be found translated as vapor or fumes, fog or mist) and the verb popoca (it smokes) will take on various shapes, as will be attested in this database. Furthermore, it is not just smoke that curls in this way, but also speech, song, and clouds.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

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

Cultural Content & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

SVG of Glyph: 
SVG Image, Credit: 

Crystal Boulton-Scott made the SVG.


smokes, smoking, burn, burning

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


Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

el humo

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 46 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 102 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).