Cuicuitzcatl (MH507r)

Cuicuitzcatl (MH507r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of a simplex glyph of a barn swallow (cuicuitzcatl) doubles as a personal name, attested here as male. The glyph is a bird shown in profile, facing the viewer's left. It has raised wings as though in flight, and it has a very long beak, contrary to Hunn's description of the barn swallow (see cuicuitzcatl in our Online Nahuatl Dictionary). Its feathers would appear to be white and without notable texture.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

See our Online Nahuatl Dictionary for some discussion of this bird. One concern is that the Florentine Codex says the barn swallow has a short beak, and this bird does not. Another cuicuitzcatl in this collection has its wings raised. That one has a long beak, too.

There was a famous Cuicuitzcatl who became the emperor of the Acolhua and was the younger brother of Cacama, according to Burr Cartwright Brundage in A Rain of Darts: The Mexica Aztecs (2014), also known as the lord of Colhuacan according to Torquemada (1615), who says he became this leader at the behest of Motecuhtzoma. The man bearing this name in the Matrícula de Huexotzinco, Diego Cuicuitzcatl, was probably a macelhualli, not a figure of high social status.

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 

Diego Cuituitzcatl

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: 

birds, pájaros, white, blanco, golondrinas de granero, barns, swallows

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

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 507r, 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: