Cipac (MH881r)

Cipac (MH881r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the simplex glyph for the personal name Cipac ("Crocodile") is attested here as a man's name. The glyph really seems to be for the name Olin (movement). Compare below.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Cipactli is a day name in the religious divinatory calendar of 260 days, the tonalpohualli. Perhaps this stylized version 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. Alternatively, because the crocodile was a double for a the divine force or deity, Tonacatecuhtli, creator of the universe and the human race, this glyph could represent that divine force instead of the crocodile. See Anastasia Kalyuta's article in Mexicolore.

Several Cipac glyphs have crocodilian features, but a couple are more abstract, perhaps cosmic. The cosmic perceptions of reptiles by Nahuas of the Sierra Norte of Puebla enter into a free, online study by Pierre Beaucage (et al), "Les reptiles dans les savoirs et l’imaginaire des Nahuas/Maseualmej de la Sierra Norte de Puebla (Mexique)," Recherches amérindiennes au Québec 49:3 (December 2020):17-28.

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

hernādo çipac

Gloss Normalization: 

Hernando 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


animales, cocodrilos, caimanes, teotl, movimiento

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

Cocodrilo o Caiman

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 881r, 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: