Atonal (MH554v)

Atonal (MH554v)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the compound glyph for the personal name Atonal (“Water" the day sign, or Dzawindanda in Mixtec) is attested here as a man’s name. It shows a quincunx shape for tonalli (the solar-animating force) and, coming out of the bottom of that four short streams of water [atl with a droplet (or jade bead?) at the end of each stream. The tonalli consists of four round circles with a much smaller concentric circle in each one and four lines separating the four larger circles. The water streams have lines of current that suggest movement.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

This is likely a case where a relatively average citizen was given an illustrious calendrical name. The famous Atonal was a Mixtec ruler. According to Wikipedia, Atonaltzin (in the reverential form of the name in Nahuatl) was also called Dzawindanda by the Mixtecs. He ruled the Mixtec kingdom of Coixtlahuaca. After the first Motecuhzoma took power over Coixtlahuaca, sometime in the second half of the fifteenth century, the Nahua executed Atonal apparently in revenge for the deaths of a large number of long distance merchants. Maarten Jansen and ‎Gabina Aurora Pérez Jiménez (Time and the Ancestors, 2017, 337) suggest the following meaning for Atonal: "Atonal refers to a person with a calendar name that contained the day sign Water." Notice how different is the glyph for Atonal in the earlier Codex Mendoza, with the sun here showing considerable European stylistic influence (such as the sun having a face).

See below for glyphs of tonalli, in this case representing either the sun or a day. This tonalli sign here also resembles the matlalin flower.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

antonio atonal

Gloss Normalization: 

Antonio Atonal

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla, Mexico

Semantic Categories: 
Writing Features: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 
Parts (compounds or simplex + notation): 
Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 
Other Cultural Influences: 

nombres de hombres, nombres de personas famosas, gobernadores, Mixtecos, calendarios, días, agua, sol, canales, tonales, fuerzas animadoras, religión indígena, tonalpohualli, fuerza personal, personal force, cardinal points, cosmos, puntos cardinales

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

Brillo de Agua (?)

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 554v, 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: