Cipac (MH653r)

Cipac (MH653r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black and white drawing of the glyph for the personal name Cipac ("Crocodile" or "Crocodilian Monster," attested here as a man's name) shows an unusual representation of the crocodile with an anthropomorphic face in a frontal view. It is reminiscent of some representations of teotl.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

This name is a day sign. Originally, a name like this would have a number attached to it. But calendrical names were evolving at the time of this manuscript (1560), often dropping their numbers. This day sign comes from the tonalpohualli, the 260-day divinatory calendar. Calendrics figure importantly in Nahuas' religious views of the cosmos. The thirteen-day cycle that was started by One-Cipactli was an auspicious time to be born according to a downloadable publication hosted by Mexicolore.

Perhaps this stylized version of the cipactli (alligator, crocodile, or caiman) is meant to disguise that the family who named their baby this were still consulting the calendar, a practice that some friars had hoped to root out. The crocodile was a double for the divine force or deity, Tonacatecuhtli, creator of the universe and the human race, according to Anastasia Kalyuta, also publishing in Mexicolore. This glyph may represent that divine force instead of the crocodile.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

andres tzipac

Gloss Normalization: 

Andrés Cipac

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: 

animales, cocodrilos, caimanes, teotl

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

cipac(tli), crocodile or crocodilian monster,

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

Cocodrilo o Caiman

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 653r, 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: