ixtli (MH488r)

ixtli (MH488r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the element representing the noun for eye (ixtli) involves a round eye with a big lid, an iris, and a pupil. It is formed with three concentric half-circles on the bottom and one larger half-circle on the top. None of these circles is filled in. The original compound glyph that contains this eye is for the name Nahualix (as attested in the gloss image).

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The shape of this eye recalls the stellar or starry eyes found in the night sky (see below). The act of seeing and knowing were connected in Nahua thought, as expressed in the glyph for Tlamao (from tlamati, to know) which typically involves an eye. The fact that this eye here was connected with the concept of nahualli, a shape-shifting spirit--often an animal spirit--that a person could assume, suggests another almost magical association with eyes and seeing.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 


Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla, Mexico

Cultural Content & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood


eyes, ojos, estrellas, saber, sabio

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

el ojo

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 488r, World Digital Library, https://www.loc.gov/resource/gdcwdl.wdl_15282/?sp=55&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).