Atonal (MH607r)

Atonal (MH607r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the simplex glyph for the personal name Atonal (“Water" the day sign, or Dzawindanda in Mixtec) shows a bird's eye view of swirling water (atl), a day sign in the 260-day divinatory calendar (tonalpohualli). The black lines, thick and thin, are much like the typical way currents are shown. The swirling part could also represent tonalli (day, sun, or the vibrant animating force), which could make this a compound glyph.

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 three other glyphs for the name Atonal (below), all compound and all different from this one and from one another.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

paltasal antonal

Gloss Normalization: 

Baltazar Atonal

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood

Other Cultural Influences: 

nombres de hombres, nombres de personas famosas, gobernadores, Mixtecos, calendarios, días, agua, sol, canales, tonales, fuerzas animadoras, religión indígena, tonalpohualli, brillo, vitalidad, movimiento, remolinos

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

La Vitalidad de Agua

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 607r, 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: