Tlalcuechahuayan (Mdz44r)

Tlalcuechahuayan (Mdz44r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph stands for the place name Tlalcuechahuayan. It has multiple elements. The focus is the land (tlalli). It has the usual dots and u-shapes of other examples of tlalli or milli. We look down on the parcel from a bird's eye view. The horizontal shell (turbinate) resting on the land provides the phonetic element "cuech" from cuechtli, a long shell. Turquoise-blue water rains down on the scene in two short streams. It has the usual lines of current and droplets (perhaps symbolic of local dade stones?) at the end of each stream.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The visual for tlalli in this glyph is painted just one color, a purple. Sometimes tlalli has alternating purple and orange segments in the Codex Mendoza, as multiple attestations of tlalli will reveal. We see the tlalli from a birdseye view; the other elements are shown in elevation. The shell (cuechtli) hints at the verb cuechahuaya, to become moist. (Note the turbinate shape of the cuechtli, which may be the shell associated with the atl glyph; it is slightly different from the cilin, more turbinate.) The rainwater falling on the land also supports the reading of the verb cuechahuaya, as the land would become moist from the rain. This condition would be important for agriculture and may therefore refer to local conditions. Incidentally, the word for rain (quiyahuitl) does not have a phonetic value here, only a ideographic role, although atl (water) provides an "a" sound that combines with "cuech" to lead us to the verb. The -hua- of possession on containment and the -yan locative suffix are often not depicted visually, but perhaps here the landscape provides a semantic locative.

The locative suffix -yan is one that attaches to verbs and indicates customary action. (Source: Frances Karttunen, "Critique of glyph catalogue in Berdan and Anawalt edition of Codex Mendoza," unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.) So, this is a place where land customarily gets wet, perhaps floods regularly or has lots of rainfall.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

tlalcuechahuayā, puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Tlalcuechahuayan, pueblo

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

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 

water, irrigation, rainfall, flooding, agua, irrigación, lluvias, inundaciones, sementeras, tierras, parcelas, agricultura

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Karttunen’s Interpretation: 

"Where Land Customarily Gets Wet" [Frances Karttunen, "Critique of glyph catalogue in Berdan and Anawalt edition of Codex Mendoza," unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"Place of Damp Land" (Berdan and Anawalt)

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 44 recto,, image 98 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).