Tlacopan (CmpRG)

Tlacopan (CmpRG)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This is a simplex glyph naming a place called Tlaco(pan). It is featured in the 1580 Relación Geográfica de Cempoala (originally Cempohuallan, and now Zempoala, Hidalgo). The place name glyph the place name derives from the tlacotl, an osier twig that apparently served as a shaft for making arrows and lances, such as the mitl and the tlacochtli or tlacochin. The arrow that provides the hieroglyph for Tlacopan is outlined in black with feather fletching on one end and a double barbed point on the other. Below the fletching is another feather in a circle or ball, perhaps a down feather, not uncommon on depictions of arrows (see below). The locative suffix -pan, "in, at, with," is not shown visually.

Description, Credit: 

Robert Haskett

Added Analysis: 

It seems that osier twigs were sometimes used by priests associated with Tlazolteotl to do penance. The twigs (or the arrows that were made from them) were used for piercing the tongue and ears in a blood-letting ritual act. (See Peter DeRoo, History of America before Columbus, 1900, 489, and Hartley Burr Alexander, Latin American, The Mythology of All Races, Vol 11, 1920, 78.)

This simplex glyph seems to name a parcel of land where osier twigs could be obtained (though there is nothing on the map showing these kinds of plants in the vicinity). The probable parcel is indicated by the red boundary of the rectangle in which it sits (see the historical contextualizing image). This place is not associated with a drawing of a church, which on this map usually indicates an inhabited place, although not all settlements had churches at this time in history. For more information about the RG map, see Biblioteca Digital Mexicana, A.C., Mundy, Barbara E., “Mapping Babel: A Sixteenth-Century Indigenous Map from Mexico,” The Appendix, 1:4 (October 2013), Mundy (1996), and Ballesteros García (2005), 53.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Robert Haskett and Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 


Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Robert Haskett

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Zempoala, Hidalgo

Semantic Categories: 
Syntax (patterns): 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Robert Haskett

Other Cultural Influences: 

shafts, spines, arrows, flechas, varas, astas, ejes

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

En el Lugar donde se Encuentran Ejes de Flechas (?)

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Relación de Cempoala - University of Texas Libraries Collections. 1580-11-01.

Image Source, Rights: 

Materials that are in the public domain (such as most of the maps in the PCL Map Collection) are not copyrighted, and no permission is needed to copy them. You may download them and use them as you wish. The image appears here courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin. If you do publish anything from this database, please cite the Visual Lexicon of Aztec Hieroglyphs.

Historical Contextualizing Image: