Atonal (MH626v)

Atonal (MH626v)
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) shows a swirling stream of water (atl) with three offshoots, each one with a droplet at the end. Water is a day sign in the 260-divinatory calendar (the tonalpohualli). On top of the water and along its sides is a series of short lines that suggest rays of sunlight (tonalli), which refers to the sun, a day, and a solar animating force.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The rays of sunshine suggest a vibrance or a brilliance with the effect of movement. For other examples of glyphs with these same kinds of lines, see below. Additional Atonal glyphs, with various iconographic forms, also appear below.

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."

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 

Juan Atonal

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla

Semantic Categories: 
Writing Features: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood

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

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

Agua-Fuerza Animadora

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 626v, 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: