Itzehecatl (MH544r)

Itzehecatl (MH544r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the compound glyph for the personal name Itzehecatl (“Obsidian-Wind,” attested here as a man’s name) shows a frontal view of three black obsidian blades [itztli. Surrounding these are short, black, straight and curving (not quite spiraling, but something like volutes) marks that apparently suggest wind (ehecatl). The multiple markings for ehecatl suggest visible movement. The gloss also provides a redupication of the "e" in the word for wind, which is somewhat unusual in this manuscript, with often uses "ecatl" (air, breath), when it seems to mean wind.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Ehecatl is a day name in the 260-day divinatory calendar (the tonalpohualli), and it is the name of the divine force (deity or divinity) of wind. This combination comprises the name of the sixth level of the underworld in Nahua religious belief. [See: Dominique Raby, “In xochiyecolli, l'épreuve fleurie. Symbolique du genre selon la littérature des Nahua du Mexique préhispanique,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Anthropology, Université de Montréal (2000), p. 203.]

This Nahua name is preceded in the gloss by a Christian first name (Toribio). He may have been named after Toribio de Benavente, also known as Motolinia ("One Who is Poor or Afflicted"). This was the first word he learned in Nahuatl, and he went on to learn the language well. He lived in the monastery in Huejotzingo. Doing a quick search for the name "Toribio" will produce an impressive result.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

doribio ytzeecatl

Gloss Normalization: 

Toribio Itzehecatl

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


obsidian, obsidiana, wind, viento, curving, espiral, cuchillos, aire, navajas

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