Huetzquiz (MH529r)

Huetzquiz (MH529r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the simplex glyph for the personal name Huetzquiz (“Laughter,” attested here as a man’s name) shows a frontal view of a mouth with curving lips and four, upper, front teeth and two very prominent canine teeth. The gloss suggests that "laughter" (huetzquiztli) seems to be the intention for the name--more than teeth (tlantli) or fangs like the (coatlane) (which appears in the translation Florentine Codex, 1963, Book 11, p. 5).

Description, Credit: 

Stephane Wood

Added Analysis: 

The presence of such large canines calls to mind thorns (huitztli), which could play a role in the name. Perhaps also the verb quiza, to go out, refers to the showing of the teeth. Protruding fangs, such as those on the biting bat (below), were often colored red and white like thorns, possibly pointing to the role of sharp objects being used for bloodletting. See also the glyph for the Huetzquiz name on MH666r, which has a full face with a mouth like this one.

Perhaps this is the face of a figure at fiestas who circulated in crowds to get people to laugh. Such possibly clown-like figures are known in Spanish festivals, but to know if this is an Indigenous source of humor requires further research. Certainly, there are many terms in Nahuatl for laughter, and there was a type of person, a texochtiani, who would tell jokes.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

juan vetzquiz

Gloss Normalization: 

Juan Huetzquiz

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


sonrisas, risa, smiles, fangs, teeth, dientes, colmillos

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


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: