Xiloxochitlan (Mdz50r)

Xiloxochitlan (Mdz50r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph stands for the place name Xiloxochitlan ("Near the Silk-Cotton Trees") and consists of an upright xiloxochitl silk cotton tree in flower (which reinforces the "xochitl" part of the name). The tree has a leading branch and one more on each side. The trunk and leaves are a two-tone green. The flowers, with some green foliage at their base, have red petals and little yellow balls at the tips. The small yellow circular balls have a black dot in the center of each one; though the dots were possibly inadvertently omitted in the group on the right. Curling, red roots are visible at the base of the tree. A set of upper and lower white teeth, in profile, facing to the right, are embedded into the trunk. Differing from the somewhat more common sets of two front teeth, red gums are not showing.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

One wonders whether the xilotl- start of this tree name in some way intentionally recalls the green, tender ears of maize that the name recalls. Another example of the particular flower in the compound can be seen in the compound glyph for the place name Xochiacan (see below). Variations in hieroglyphs and glyphic elements representing xochitl are considerable, and they evolve over time.

The phonetic value for locative suffix (-tlan) comes from the imbedded teeth (tlantli) in the tree trunk. Gordon Whittaker (Deciphering Aztec Hieroglyphs, 2021, 102) has discovered that the full set of teeth (top and bottom) are used when there is a ligature (-ti-) before the locative suffix -tlan. This example falls somewhere between having the ligature -ti- and not having it, given the -i- is retained after xoch-.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

xiloxochitlan / puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Xiloxochitlan, 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): 

silk cotton trees, place, locative, teeth, ceibas, dientes, árboles, hojas, flores

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

la ceiba

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 50 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 110 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).