icpatl (MH503r)

icpatl (MH503r)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the element for a ball of thread or yarn (icpatl) is apparently meant to represent just that. It is a frontal view of such a ball, mostly round, and with texturing. At the center is a circle of smaller hash marks. This glyph has been carved from the compound glyph for the personal name Tecuanicpatl ("Animal Silvestre y Feroz-Bola de Hilo").

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

This icpatl does differ from the neat ball of yarn or thread in the Codex Mendoza (below). In Spanish, a ball of yarn or thread is a "bola de hilo," without differentiation. This may be cotton thread, if it stems from a pre-contact tradition. But the connection with the wild animal in the compound glyph may suggest that this thread or yarn somehow incorporates animal hair.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla, Mexico

Cultural Content & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood


balls, bolas, thread, yarn, hilo, textiles

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

una bola de hilo

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 503r, World Digital Library, https://www.loc.gov/resource/gdcwdl.wdl_15282/?sp=83&st=image

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).