Mixcoatl (MH535v)

Mixcoatl (MH535v)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the compound glyph for the personal name Mixcoatl (“Cloud Serpent,” attested here as a man’s name) shows a profile view of a serpent facing right. Its eye is open and its protruding tongue is bifurcated. It has one large coil in the middle of its body. The bottom portion of its body is shaded, giving it a three-dimensionality. Three clouds hover over the serpent, and these are also shaded for three-dimensionality.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Mixcoatl is a very popular name in the Matrícula de Huexotzinco, much more so than, for instance, Quetzalcoatl. It is akin to Ehecatl (or Ecatl) in popularity, perhaps. A Cloud Serpent was a sacred, natural force, seemingly connected to the swirling clouds that could portend rain. The cloud serpents almost all have the coil in their bodies, adding this swirling dimension of movement. According to Sahagún, it was a divine force among the Chichimecs, and carried a powerful significance for the Nahuas. Some scholars have seen it as a divinity associated with hunting, others as part of a Tlaloc complex (of clouds, rain, lightning, etc.), and others as a symbol for a whirlwind (remolino). A famous altepetl, Mixcoac, is now a neighborhood of Mexico City.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla, Mexico

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood

Parts (compounds or simplex + notation): 
Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 
Other Cultural Influences: 

clouds, nubes, serpientes

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

Serpiente de las Nubes

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: