Tonalli Imoquetzayan (Mdz12r)

Tonalli Imoquetzayan (Mdz12r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Tonalli Imoquetzayan (Sun's Usual Rising Place) includes two notable visual elements. At the bottom appear four white circles with red dots in the middle, meant to represent a day (tonalli). Above that is a bare human leg and foot, shown in profile, facing to the viewer's left. It is painted a terracotta-orange color. The leg is meant to refer to standing or being set up (moquetza).

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

With the added -yan locative and the possessive i- (both attested in the gloss), the verb (moquetza) converts into the setting up place of the day (imoquetzayan). The locative suffix -yan is one that attaches to verbs and indicates customary action. [Frances Karttunen, "Critique of glyph catalogue in Berdan and Anawalt edition of Codex Mendoza," unpublished manuscript.] So, the place name may refer to the site where the sun customarily rises up.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

tonali ymoqueçayan.puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Tonali Imoquetzayan, 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: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Parts (compounds or simplex + notation): 
Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 

soles, días, piernas, amanecer

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

This presumed tonalli glyph appears on the leg of a polychrome, tripod pot from Cholula, on display at the Peabody Museum, Harvard. Photo by Stephanie Wood, May 2023.

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

tonal(li), day, sun,
moquetza, to stand or get up from a sitting position,
-yan (locative), habitual place of a certain action,

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

El Lugar del Amanecer

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 12 recto,, 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).