Nahui Ehecatl (TR19v)

Nahui Ehecatl (TR19v)

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

The iconographic example of an anthropomorphic figure representing the divine force or deity associated with the wind, Ehecatl, is shown here in a profile view, facing toward the viewer's right. One of his legs is bent, suggesting movement, perhaps dance. On his face is the diagnostic goggle eye and curving line around the mouth and up toward the eye. In front of his face is what Eloise Quiñones Keber (Codex Telleriano-Remensis, 1995, 165) says is the "distinguishing facial feature," the "projecting red mouth mask," which is "an instrument for blowing the wind." She also points to the distinguishing feature that is the "conical jaguar-skin hat." The figure also wears a round blue earplug with a red fringe and white shapes coming down from that. In his left hand he grasps a serpent that is blue on its back, yellow on its belly, and red in between. The serpent had yellow and red outlining on its mouth, visible white fangs, and a protruding flint knife in red and yellow. Colors and details abound, and the Quiñones Keber description is much more thorough, but several details appear to related to chalchihuitl (jade), and there is a small glyph for xihuitl on the headdress.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Nahui Ehecatl was a day name in the tonalpohualli, 260-day divinatory calendar that tied in so much with Nahuas' religious views of the cosmos. The chalchihuitl and xihuitl signs imbedded in this figure's regalia all point toward water, as do the Tlaloc-like facial features. Both Tlaloc and Ehecatl had to do with rain and therefore agriculture and the sustenance of life. However, the way the insignia of each divine force are combined here in Nahui Ehecatl is unusual, according to Eloise Quiñones Keber. Calling the combination "Nahui Ehecatl Quetzalcoatl" or just "Ehecatl Quetzalcoatl" (which is also combined in the Codex Quetzalecatzin, featured in this collection), Quiñones Keber reminds us that Quetzalcoatl is an especially complex figure, associated with "a creator god, the Venus deity, a merchant god, and a mythical feathered serpent. The name was also borne by the legendary Toltec priest-ruler and culture hero, Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl of Tollan (Tula), and connected with a mythical Mixtec personage called 9 Wind. Quetzalcoatl was also honored as the archetypal priest and patron of the temple schools." [See her study of the Codex Telleriano-Remensis, 1995, 165.]

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 

Nahui Ehecatl

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 

ca. 1550–1563

Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Mexico City

Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood and Stephanie Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 

wind, viento, deidades, divinidades, fuerzas divinas, feathers, plumas, xihuitl glyph, serpents, serpientes

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

Cuatro Ehecatl

Image Source: 

Telleriano-Remensis Codex, folio 19 recto, MS Mexicain 385, Gallica digital collection,

Image Source, Rights: 

The non-commercial reuse of images from the Bibliothèque nationale de France is free as long as the user is in compliance with the legislation in force and provides the citation: “Source / Bibliothèque nationale de France” or “Source / BnF.”

Historical Contextualizing Image: