acatl (MH486r)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black line drawing of the element for a reed (acatl) has been carved from the compound personal name Matlalaca. It is a vertical, linear, segmented cane with three thin leaves emerging from each of the small horizontal lines where the cane is segmented. It looks something like bamboo or carrizo (a name in Spanish for a type of cane).

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The acatl is both a day sign and a year sign in the Mesoamerican calendars. It was also used for making arrows. The name Matlalaca, from which this element is derived, literally means dark green reed, and it may have been a flowering herb. It is also close to being the name for Ten Reed (Matlactli Acatl), which can be found in the digital collection of glyphs by Marc Thouvenot, TLACHIA.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla

Cultural Content & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

José Aguayo-Barragán and Stephanie Wood


xiuhpohualli, año, turquesa, xihuitl

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

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 483r, World Digital Library.

Image Source, Rights: 

This manuscript is hosted by the Library of Congress and the World Digital Library; used here with the Creative Commons, “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License” (CC-BY-NC-SAq 3.0).

Historical Contextualizing Image: