Zollan (Mdz15v)

Zollan (Mdz15v)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This simplex glyph for zolin (quail) doubles as the place name Zollan (also spelled Sula). It consists of a bird standing upright, in a profile, facing to the viewer's left. It has turquoise-colored feet, a turquoise beak, and a turquoise eye. The feathers on the top of its head and back are a terracotta-brown. There are also some black or dark gray-purple patches of feathers near the face and above the feet. The feathers on its chest and around its face are white.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The locative suffix (-tlan, which changes to -lan before a stem ending in "l," as here) is not shown visually. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, quails are short-tailed birds that can be any one of 130 species. The one in this glyph has a short tail. It does not have the signature curving crest or plume of the California quail. Rather, it resembles the Montezuma quail, or Cyrtonyx Montezumae. The zolin was one of the 13 quecholli, or "representatives of the 13 fate-bearers, each linked to the 13 sacred numbers in the ritual calendar" which included "13 rounds of 20 signs making 260 days," according to Ian Mursell of Mexicolore. The zolin, the 4th of the 13, was associated with the tonatiuh (sun).

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 

Zollan, pueblo

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Source Manuscript: 
Date of Manuscript: 

c. 1541, but by 1553 at the latest

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood


birds, quail, pájaros, codornices, Çula, Sula

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Karttunen’s Interpretation: 

"Quail Place" [Frances Karttunen, unpublished manuscript, used here with her permission.]

Additional Scholars' Interpretations: 

"Where There Are Many Quails" (Berdan and Anawalt, 1992, vol. 1, p. )

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

"El Lugar de la Codorniz" o "El Lugar de os Codornices"

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Codex Mendoza, folio 15 verso, https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/2fea788e-2aa2-4f08-b6d9-648c00..., image 41 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).

See Also: