Huatzal (MH518v)

Huatzal (MH518v)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the simplex glyph for the personal name Huatzal ("Tied Tightly," attested here as a man's name) shows a man in profile, wearing only a loincloth and facing toward the viewer's right, tied to a post. His feet are above the bottom of the stick, so this would mean he is suspended above the ground.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

While Alonso de Molina refers to the term huatzalli only in reference to the drying of fruit (see the Online Nahuatl Dictionary), something else is happening in this glyph. Perhaps fruit was put on stakes in the sun to dry, and this act could be stretched to the staking of a person. Orozco y Berra (1880, 468) provides another definition for Huatzal, as "tied very tightly." The state of being tied to a post appears to be a punishment. Juan José Batalla Rosado (2018, 99) shares some examples of stocks and wooden neck-locks that were put on enslaved people or people undergoing a type of imprisonment--one being a European method and one Indigenous. The name Huatzal is also attested in Morelos (see S. L. Cline, The Book of Tributes, 1993, 173).

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

dio huatzal

Gloss Normalization: 

Diego Huatzal

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla, Mexico

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood


castigos, cepos

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

huatzal(li), something tied very tightly,

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

Atado Fuertemente

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 518v, 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: