Ecatl (MH533r)

Ecatl (MH533r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the simplex glyph for the personal name Ecatl [“Air/Breath," or perhaps Ehecatl ("Wind" or the "Divine Force of the Wind") attested here as a man’s name] shows an anthropomorphic head in profile, looking toward the viewer's right. A horn-like shape comes out of his mouth and curves upward.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

A great many glyphs in this collection start with Eca- when one might expect Eheca-. We are preserving the proclivity of the gloss for Eca-, while also pointing to the likelihood of an unintentional oral abbreviation of Eheca- to Eca-. The gloss here gives "Ecatl," but the visuals suggest "Ehecatl." This example does not include the face paint or tattoo of a black line on the cheek, but it does show a strange instrument coming out of the person's mouth. Usually, it is a beak-like instrument; this one is more of a horn, suggesting European influence. But perhaps the beak-like instruments, like this horn instrument, are intended to suggest an apparatus through which wind was blown on Earth. Gabrielle Vail and ‎Christine Hernández (Re-Creating Primordial Time, 2013, ) describe Ehecatl as the wind aspect of Quetzalcoatl, and they note that Ehecatl "wears a buccal (duck) mask through which to blow wind." That the "beak" may have been perceived as a blowing device is supported by the glyph for Pitztli (below).

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla, Mexico

Semantic Categories: 
Syntax (patterns): 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 
Other Cultural Influences: 

air, breath, wind, aliento, aire, viento, deidades, deities, fuerzas divinas, divine forces, divinidades, divinities

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

La Fuerza Sagrada del Viento

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: