tenamitl (Mdz34r)

tenamitl (Mdz34r)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element comes from a compound glyph for a place name, Tenantzinco. The top element is the parapet (tenamitl), with its step-shaped crenelation, outlined in turquoise and with a red rectangular center. Below the crenelation is a horizontal band containing three concentric circles of turquoise in the outer band and red in the center. Outside the circles, there is a red background color and around that a rectangular outline in turquoise.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Here, the crenelation suggests a meaning of parapet over a simple wall construction. The circles are suggestive of power and prestige, much as we see in the design of the tecpan glyph. The colors red and turquoise were highly prized and signified preciosity and power, too. There is a comparable representation of a tenamitl such as this one on the Codex Borbonicus, found in Wikiwand.

Added 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, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

SVG of Glyph: 
SVG Image, Credit: 

Crystal Boulton-Scott made the SVG.


parapets, ramparts, walls, crenelation, muros, cercas, tenantli, merlons, almenas

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

tenam{itl), wall, fortification, , https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/tenamitl

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

la pared, o la muralla, la almenación

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 34 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 78 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).