xo (Mdz2r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element for xo (foot, feet) has been carved from the compound sign for the personal name, Xocoyol ("Foot Bell"), removing the bell. The foot has been painted a terracotta flesh tone. The foot and part of the leg is in profile, with the toes appearing to our right. The leg had been adorned with a red tie above the ankle, and from this tie was hanging a yellow (copper or gold?) bell (coyolli). A similar bell is tied onto the foot in the compound place name Xocoyoltepec.

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. The foot can also be symbolically representative of the verb pano, to cross or cross over. The bell tied around the ankle on this glyph of a foot suggests that the foot may belong to a dancer.

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

Shapes and Perspectives: 

foot, feet, bells, dancers, campanas, campanillas, pinjantes

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: 

el pie

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 
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).