Imacehual (MH518r)

Imacehual (MH518r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This simplex glyph for the personal name Imacehual ("His Merits," attested here as a man's name) shows the man in question with a headdress of green feathers (probably quetzalli, though this does not enter into the decipherment of the name) attached to a red, t-shaped device that connects to the back of his head. The red is slightly pink or purple. The man's face is painted a flesh tone.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The colors for this glyph are unusual for the Matrícula de Huexotzinco, which presents most glyphs in black and white. The headdress (perhaps a tzoncalli) might be considered in two ways for reaching an understanding of the name Imacehual. It may have been a gift as a result of some merit on his part, something he deserved (-macehual), and possessed in the third person singular (i-), resulting in "His Merit." The other option would be that this headdress was related to his role in a dance (macehualiztli). Perhaps both were true. A final consideration is that this man was someone's vassal (macehualli), but it seems less likely.

The possessive pronoun in the third person singular (i-) is not represented visually unless the fact that the headdress is connected to the head of the person named underlines that it is *his*. If that is the case, then this could be seen as a compound glyph, not just a simplex.

See below for other headdresses, typically shown in representations of deities or divine forces, such as Xolotl or Tlaloc, or warrior regalia.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

peo ymaçeual

Gloss Normalization: 

Pedro Imacehual

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


headdresses, tocados, merecimiento, merecer, vasallo, bailar

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

Su Mérito

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 518r, 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: