02) Acatl: Reed & Arrow

The hieroglyph for the noun acatl finds expression in this digital collection in three principal forms. It is a simple plant with multiple leaves painted a turquoise or blue-green, a dried yellow reed or cane, or a decorative arrow. In some cases these representations are presented in combinations that were apparently meant to help the viewer make the correct reading, such as we see in Acapan, which has both the cane and a part of an arrow, or Acatepec, which has the reed plants and an arrow. The decoration of a reed made into an arrow is found in the motif of the acatl that serves as the calendrical marker. Perhaps the latter has a cultural-historical association with hunting and/or with war.

(More forthcoming, SW.)