Tlaloc (Mdz13v)

Tlaloc (Mdz13v)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element is the name of the divine force or deity associated with rain (Tlaloc), and it has been carved from the compound sign for the place name Iztac Tlalocan. The figure is shown as a head only, in profile, facing toward the viewer's left. The swirling line around the face is reminiscent of the swirling turquoise-blue clouds of the mixtli glyph. The ear plug is also reminiscent of rain [quiyahuitl) drops.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The compound glyph of the place name which includes this element alludes to a white place associated with the rain deity. The turquoise coloring of this image recalls water. Book VI of the Florentine Codex, which includes prayers to Tlaloc, is worth pursuing for a deeper understanding of this deity.

Added 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

Cultural Content & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood


deities, divinities, divinidades, fuerzas divinas, rain, lluvia, turqouise blue, water, heavenly waters, quiyahuitl

Museum & Rare Book Comparisons: 
Museum/Rare Book Notes: 

Tlaloc. Museo del Templo Mayor. Photograph by Robert Haskett, 15 February 2023.

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

Tlaloc, the name of the rain deity,

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

rain (deity name)

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

Tlaloc, la deidad de la lluvia

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 13 verso,, image 37 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).