Cuicuitzcatl (MH510r)

Cuicuitzcatl (MH510r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the simplex glyph for the personal name Cuicuitzcatl (here, attested as a man's name) shows a bird, likely a barn swallow (cuicuitzcatl), in profile looking toward the viewer's left. It has a long beak (closed), and its visible eye seems open. Its wing is closed, and the wing feathers do not reach all the way to the bottom of the bird's chest. Its tail feathers are somewhat distinguishable.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

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.

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 an even longer beak.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 

Diego Cuicuitzcatl

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: 

barn swallows, golondrinas

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

La Golondrina

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 510r, 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: