Olin (MH853r)

Olin (MH853r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the simplex glyph for the personal name Olin ("Movement") is attested here as a man's name. The glyph is an elaborate quincunx with concentric circles around it, along with radiating straight lines that look like the rays of the sun or the shine of tonalli. Triangular tips that might pertains to a vertical axis also appear, and one tiny circle is found in the middle.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Olin is a day name in the 260-day divinatory calendar called the tonalpohualli in Nahuatl. This calendar had a role in various Mesoamerican religions, including the Mixtec. The overall shape of this movement symbol is something like a quincunx, or X shape with a round center. The small lines coming off the "wings" may be there to suggest fluttering (movement). Movement is part of the conceptualization of the universe, often associated with the movement of the sun. A link to the celestial realm may be supported by the olin glyph on folio 40 recto of the Codex Mendoza, which has a starry eye at the center of its X shape.

See James Maffie (Aztec Philosophy, 2014, 238–240) for a detailed discussion of the olin glyph and its iconography, drawing from a number of studies. The four cardinal points are clearly represented, along with an important center, linked to the motion of the sun. Motion-change is a key theme, especially as it all relates to the changing ages or eras (culminating in the Fifth Sun). Maffie (2014, 232) also discusses numerous connections between olin and butterflies.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

juo ollī

Gloss Normalization: 

Juan Olin

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood


movimiento, nombres de hombres

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

El Movimiento

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 853r, World Digital Library, https://www.loc.gov/resource/gdcwdl.wdl_15282/?sp=778&st=image

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: