Motolinia (MH501v)

Motolinia (MH501v)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the simplex glyph for the personal name Motolinia (“He is Poor,” or "He is Afflicted," attested here as a man’s name) shows the profile of a man's head, looking toward the viewer's right. He has tears running down his visible cheek. His eye is also open.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Motolinia may have been a name that existed in the autonomous era, but it is probably best known as the name taken by Toribio de Benavente, a Franciscan friar who, when walking through Tlaxcala, heard people remarking on his tattered robes, feeling sorry for him for being poor, and asked what the word "motolinia" meant that they kept using to describe him. Feeling it was appropriate for a friar, he embraced the name for himself. Even if it has not existed prior to 1519, here it is the name of an Indigenous man in Huexotzinco more than three decades after the famous Franciscan (one of Los Doce, the first Twelve) took the name.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 

Pedro Motolinia

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

Shapes and Perspectives: 

poor, pobre, afflicted, afligido, suffering, sufrimiento

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

motolinia, poor, afflicted, humble,

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

El Pobre, El Aflijido

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 501v, 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: