Huitzilpopoca (MH507r)

Huitzilpopoca (MH507r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the compound glyph for the personal name Huitzilpopoca shows the had of a hummingbird (huitzilin) which is smoking (popoca, the verb, to smoke]. the bird's head is shown in profile, facing toward the viewer's right. Its visible eye seems to be open, as is its beak. Appropriately for this particular bird, it has a long beak. It has short hairs coming off the top and back of its head, and it has some texturing on its face. The smoke is drawn in a gray, and it curls from all sides of the bird's head and even from its beak.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

That a hummingbird could be thought to smoke may derive from Book 11 of the Florentine Codex, which describes hummingbird feathers as being like a flame and burning, as noted by Allison Caplan (2020, 390). See comparisons for hummingbirds and curls of smoke, below. There was a known figure in early Tollan named Huitzilpopoca. He was a "speaker," according to a 1558 huehuetlahtolli record translated by Willard Gingerich. [See his free, online publication, "TLAMACHILIZTLAHTOLÇAÇANILLI: A Performance Translation of the Náhuatl 'Wisdom-Discourse Fables' from the Manuscript of 1558" (2022). Department of English Faculty Scholarship and Creative Works. 119.]

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 

Lorenzo Huitzilpopoca

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

Parts (compounds or simplex + notation): 
Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 

birds, págjaros, hummingbirds, colibríes, smoke, smoking, humo, humear

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

El Colibrí Humeante(?)

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

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: