Molcatl (MH515v)

Molcatl (MH515v)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the simplex glyph for the personal name Molcatl (here, a man's name) shows three small, underdeveloped ears of corn (molcatl). Two of them are upright, teardrop-shaped, and unwrapped, with curving lines indicating the locations of the individual kernels. A smaller object below these two, with a slightly different shape and connected by a line, lies on its side nearby.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

When the parents are naming a baby, it might be seen as a cute, little, undeveloped ear of corn, given that corn is so central to daily life. While Karttunen suggests that these ears can be considered "inferior," that might not be what the parents were thinking at the time. Note how these little cobs do resemble the cintli corn cobs, with a similar shape and unwrapped, whereas the xilotl is still partially wrapped and its silk (below). The IDIEZ native-speaker group from the Huaxteca explain that these tiny ears are immediately shucked upon harvesting. See our Online Nahuatl Dictionary, both entries for molcatl.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

Juao molcatl

Gloss Normalization: 

Juan Molcatl

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


corn, maize, maíz, mazorcas pequeñas

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

Mazorca Chiquita

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Alonso de Molina

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 515v, 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: