amatl (MH641v)

amatl (MH641v)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This example appears in this collection in order to underline the iconography of paper. It is not glossed as such, but it appears enough like some glyphs and glyphic elements in the collection, that we are surmising it is paper. Here, it is largely horizontal, and it has some
undulating folds that give it a three-dimensionality. It also has marks that seem to simulate
writing (interestingly, this appears to be more alphabetic writing than hieroglyphic).

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The contextualizing image provides a suggestion for the appearance of paper. It may be a record that would have been kept by the tecpanpixqui or guardian of twenty tribute payers. The man holding the flag (representing the number twenty) probably had that position, and the paper appears underneath him. Alternatively, the tribute payers that appear to the left of the paper (not captured by the contextualizing image) may have been tlacuiloque (notaries or scribes). See the examples of amatl and amatlacuilolli, below, for the purpose of comparison.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla

Cultural Content & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood


documento, papel, carta, escritura, tlacuilolli

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

ama(tl), paper, document, letter,

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

el papel

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 641v, 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: