Yaonahuac (Mdz51r)

Yaonahuac (Mdz51r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This compound glyph for the place name Yaonahuac shows a shield with a horizontal, obsidian blade-imbedded club partially hidden behind it. The club is apparently wooden, being painted a terracotta color. Four rectangular obsidian blades (black) are imbedded in the end to the viewer's right. The club has a knob-shaped handle on the end to the viewer's left. The shield has concentric circles, with the outer rim being white and the inner circle being painted yellow. This circle has an upright cross on it, making it quadripartite. Thin black lines running in an X pattern, out from the center, are then capped at the right and left sides, with lines forming something like triangles. The substance used to make these patterns might have been something similar to the reeds of a petlatl (petate), but that is just speculation. Up to the right, above the club and shield, and attached by another thin black line, is a vertical white rectangle. Emanating out of that rectangle are three, swirling and curling speech scrolls, also painted yellow.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

This compound sign has two principal components. The yaotl) (enemy, war) is represented by the combined shield (chimalli, but silent here) and weapon (macuahuitl, also silent). The nahuatl) part, a pleasant sound or speech, is represented by the speech scrolls above and slightly to the right of the war symbolism. The speech symbol, however, has the derivative logographic value of -nahuac (a locative suffix meaning near or next to), which also includes what sometimes appears as a locative suffix on its own (-c). The sub-number 2 that Gordon Whittaker attaches to this NAHUAC transliteration refers to the difference between other representations of -nahuac in the form of a single speech scroll. [See Deciphering Aztec Hieroglyphs, 2021, 103.]

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

yaonahuac. puo

Gloss Normalization: 

Yaonahuac, 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): 

speech, shields, clubs, macanas, escudos, rodelas, palabras, garrotes, -nahuac locative

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

"Near the Enemy" (Gordon Whittaker, Deciphering Aztec Hieroglyphs, 2021, 67, 103)

Whittaker's Transliteration: 


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).