Metlacatl (MH648r)

Metlacatl (MH648r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing that was painted with a green watercolor is a simplex glyph for the personal name Metlacatl ("Agave Person" or perhaps "Agave Stalk," attested here as a man's name). It shows simply a green maguey or agave plant (metl) with five slighly curvy branches (pencas in Spanish). Short roots are visible at the bottom of the plant. Whether this name can be translated literally in one of those two ways--with the second one being a combination of metl plus acatl--or whether it simply means "One from Metlan" is difficult to determine. The -tlacatl (person) part of the name is not shown visually.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

A person named Metlacatl is mentioned in the Anales Mexicanos: Mexico-Azcapotzalco (1426–1589), published in the Anales del Museo Nacional, vol. VII (1903), as someone who was captured and killed during a war. Some household censuses mention the name Metlacatl, too.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

diego metlacatl

Gloss Normalization: 

Diego Metlacatl

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood


magueyes, agaves, persona de Metlan, acatl, carrizo, cañas, nombres de hombres

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


Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 648r, 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: