xo (Mdz29r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element for xo (foot, feet) has been carved from the compound sign for the place name, Xomeyocan. Here, we see two black footprints going in the direction to our right, representing two different feet, as though the person who left the footprints was walking or going somewhere.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The glyph has the phonetic reading of -xo-, which means "foot" in many compounds, such as: xo-pilli = toe, and xo-cpalli or ic-xo-polli, two words for the sole of the foot. Sometimes, however, -xo- can also mean green. It is important to recognize here, too, that footprints can have a phonetic value of "pan" (on) or the sounds "o" or "ot," when coming from otli, road or pathway, given that footprints on cartographic paintings typically refer to a road or path.

Footprint glyphs have a wide range of translations. In this collection, so far, we can attest to yauh, xo, pano, -pan, paina, temo, nemi, quetza, otli, iyaquic hualiloti, huallauh, tepal, tetepotztoca, totoco, otlatoca, -tihui, and the vowel "o." Other research (Herrera et al, 2005, 64) points to additional terms, including: choloa, tlaloa, totoyoa, eco, aci, quiza, maxalihui, centlacxitl, and xocpalli.

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, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 

foot, feet, footprints, movement, footprint, huella, huellas

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

xo-, an element with the sense of foot in compounds, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/xo
xopil(li), the toes of the foot, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/xopilli
icxopol(li), the sole of the foot, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/icxopolli
xocpal(li), the sole of the foot, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/xocpalli
-pan (locative suffix), https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/pan
pano, to cross or cross over, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/pano

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

foot or feet

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

los pies

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 29 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 68 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).