Huitznecahual (MH501r)

Huitznecahual (MH501r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the simplex glyph for the personal name Huitznecahual (perhaps "Abandoned Thorn," attested as a man’s name) shows a frontal view of two upright pointed thorns (huitztli). The -necahual part of the name does not appear to have a visual referent.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Thorns or spines were instruments for bloodletting (tlacoquixtia), as the example from the Codex Mendoza (which simulates blood) suggests. The person with this name was probably named after the famous fifteenth-century ruler of Chalco, Huitznecahualtzin (in the reverential). Another Huitznecahual appears in the sixteenth-century Book of Tributes from Morelos (1993, 189), as published by Sarah Cline.

The -necahual part of the name may have the verb cahua (to leave behind) at its root. In The Nahuas (1992, 120), James Lockhart refers to a Magdalena Necahual as "Abandoned One." There may be an "n" that has dropped out of the -necahual part, given that Nenca and Nencauh are two names seen elsewhere in the Matrícula de Huexotzinco. These are both pejorative names. Perhaps the "n" is intrusive in those names. This all requires further research.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 

Juan Huitznecahual

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


thorns, spines, espinas, abandoned, abandonados

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

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 501r, 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: