xalli (Mdz40r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element has been carved from the compound sign for the place name, Xallan, which originally consisted of this representation of xalli, sand, plus the locative suffix, -tlan. We replaced the tlantli (teeth) at the center of the circle with more black dots, approximating a single glyph for sand.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The dots likely refer to grains of sand (xalli), whereas the small circles may refer to larger grains or small rocks that can be mixed in with sand, seemingly what Alonso de Molina referred to as "piedra arenisca." While it fills a circle here, xalli can take different forms in different attestations of the sign, much as chalk (tizatl, https://aztecglyphs.wired-humanities.org/content/tizatl) will do.

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 & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

SVG of Glyph: 
SVG Image, Credit: 

Crystal Boulton-Scott made the SVG version of the image (forthcoming).

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 


Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

la arena

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 40 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 90 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).