Cochilla (MH536r)

Cochilla (MH536r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the simplex glyph for the personal name Cochilla (“Blade" or "Sword,” attested here as a man’s name) shows a Spanish sword. It has a cross bar and a little basket of metal, a round back-of-hand guard or hilt and what may be quillon ends, various protections offered by the technology of the era.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

In the context image, two Indigenous men in a 3/4 view engage in a sword fight. They face off, holding their Spanish swords up. They both may be wearing helmets. One has what seems to be a loincloth on; the other has what appears to be trunk hose on (puffy, short, rounded breeches) that were worn by Spaniards in the sixteenth century (see the Cuenel glyph below).

The word "cuchilla," in Spanish, is what is behind the loanword "cochilla" taken into Nahuatl from Spanish. The power and prestige inherent in owning and using swords was not lost on Nahuas who lived at the time of the Spanish invasion and colonization of Mexico. Elite men regularly petitioned to be able to carry a sword and, after some legal debate, they won the right. [See the article "Silks and Swords," by Haley Schroer (2022), hosted on line by the University of Texas at Austin. has some images of sixteenth-century Mexican swords with an array of handles and protections for hands.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

petro. cochillal

Gloss Normalization: 

Pedro Cochilla

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla, Mexico

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 
Other Cultural Influences: 

knives, cuchillos_ swords, espadas_ colonialism_ colonialismo

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

La Espada, o La Cuchilla

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 
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: