Tamapachco (Mdz12r)

Tamapachco (Mdz12r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the Huastecan (or Huaxtec region) place name Tamapachco has two principal visual elements, a piece of coral (tapachtli) and a (left) hand reaching up to it (maitl, hand or arm, or ma, to take or capture). The hand is vertical, colored terracotta with white fingernails, and has no arm attached to it. The coral is white at the bottom and red toward the top. It has seven fingers that somewhat echo the placement of the five fingers on the hand. The coral is also textured with upside-down u's. The -co locative suffix is not shown visually.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Multiple elements of this place name overlap, with the "ma" of hand and the "ma" of the verb to take, the mapachtli (thief) and tapachtli (coral), all helping ensure the correct phonetic reading of the visual to elicit the place name. Being a place name from the Huasteca (or Huaxtec country), it may have been a challenge to represent it with Nahuatl hieroglyphs. Various interpretations of the meaning of the name have resulted, such as Place of Palms (Nicholson 1973, 14–17) and Rock-Raccoon (Melgarejo Vivanco, 1970), cited by Berdan and Anawalt (1992, v. 1, p. 204), but the latter is an effort to read Nahuatl into it.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 

Tamapachco, 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: 
Writing Features: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 
Other Cultural Influences: 

coral, seashells, hands, arms, el coral, manos, brazos

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"Place of Seashells" or "Place of Palms" (Berdan & Anawalt, v. 1, p. 204)

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 12 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 34 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).