Ce Acatl (MH614r)

Ce Acatl (MH614r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the simplex glyph for the personal name Ce Acatl (“One Reed, or 1-Reed” attested here as a man’s name) shows a vertical, segmented reed or cane. It is a day sign in the 260-day divinatory calendar called the tonalpohualli and a year sign in the xiuhpohualli. These day and year names always had a companion number. In this case the number is one, which (somewhat unusually) is not expressed with a separate notation; just one reed appears, and so the number one is implied. The gloss provides the number (ce).

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Acatl is both a day and a year sign in the calendar. The ce (one) numerical coefficient that is mentioned in the gloss does not appear in the glyph unless it is implied in the single reed shown. But the earlier glyphs for One-Reed would have had a small circle to indicate the number/notation. By 1560, when this manuscript was made, calendrical names were sometimes losing their numbers. This could have been owing to a suppressive force of the colonial context, where there was concern among the clergy that people were still naming their children according to the divinatory codices and preserving original Indigenous beliefs and practices. Or it could have been an effect of self-censoring, or even forgetting the old system. Below are some examples of calendrical names that are missing their numbers (e.g. Calli) and one where the number is either glossed incorrectly or drawn incorrectly. Calendrics were an important element in the Nahuas' religious view of the cosmos.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

mateu ceyacatl

Gloss Normalization: 

Mateoo Ce Acatl

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla

Syntax (patterns): 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 

dates, fechas, calendarios, calendars, nombres de días, plantas, cañas, número uno, xiuhpohualli, año, turquesa, xihuitl

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

Uno Caña, o 1-Caña

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 614r, World Digital Library, https://www.loc.gov/resource/gdcwdl.wdl_15282/?sp=310st=image.

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: