olli (HJ276:79:6r)

olli (HJ276:79:6r)
Element from a Compound

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This element of a rubber (olli) ball has been carved from the compound glyph for the place name Olac. This element is round and black, and it has a black-and-white rope-like perimeter--possibly representing a fiber ring upon which it sat when not in play.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Note the example of a sculptural rubber ball, below. It is displayed currently in the corridor with the ball court hoops at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. Interestingly, it sits on a base that is somewhat reminiscent of the perimeter of the element documented here. The perimeter here is also reminiscent of the edges of two examples of the glyphs for the name Olin from the Matrícula de Huexotzinco, also appearing below.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Olac, Cuernavaca, Morelos

Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood


rubber balls, pelotas de hule

Museum & Rare Book Comparisons: 
Museum/Rare Book Notes: 

"Pelota" (ball) displayed in the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico City. Signage says that this sculpture ornamented the sacred ball court of México-Tenochtitlan. There is another identical one that is also on display. Both are said to be sitting on their "anillos de fibra vegetal" (rings of plant fiber). Commentary and photo by Stephanie Wood, 17 Feb. 2024.

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

Single-page codex, Archivo General de la Nación, México, Ramo de Hospital de Jesús, leg. 276, Exp. 79, fol. 6r.

Image Source, Rights: 

The Archivo General de la Nación (AGN), México, holds the original manuscript. This image is published here under a Creative Commons license, asking that you cite the AGN and this Visual Lexicon of Aztec Hieroglyphs.