Xonoctla (Mdz51r)

Xonoctla (Mdz51r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Xonoctlan has two principal elements. At the top are three trunks or branches representing the xonotl) tree. The multicolored, anthropomorphized, dog-like head below the tree appears to be a phonetic reinforcement, intending to elicit the divine force or deity name, Xolotl, a near homophone. The locative suffix (-tla, -tlah, or -tlan, if the final "n" has been inadvertently dropped) is not shown visually. Representations of Xolotl often have sharp teeth and wrinkled faces, recalling the xoloitzcuintli, native Mexican dog.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

One wonders whether the "c" in Xonoctla should be there, if the place name is mainly intending to speak of a place known for the xonotl tree. Sometimes the spelling is Xonotla. See The Essential Codex Mendoza, eds. Frances F. Berdan and Patricia Rieff Anawalt, 1997, p. 128.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

xonoctla. puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Xonoctla, 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

Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 
Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 

trees, árboles, deities, deidades, dogs, perros

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

This photo of the xoloitzcuintli is hosted by Flickr, and Google marks it as having Creative Commons rights.

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

xono(tl), a type of tree, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/xonotl
Xolo(tl), god of lightning and death, typically depicted as a dog-headed man, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/Xolotl
xoloitzcuin(tli), a native Mexican (almost) hairless dog, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/xoloitzcuintli
-tla (locative suffix), place of abundance of, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/tla-1
-tlan (locative suffix), place, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/tlan

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 51 recto, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 112 of 118.

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).