Ozoma (MH519v)

Ozoma (MH519v)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black and white drawing of the simplex glyph for the personal name Ozoma ("Monkey," attested as a man's name), shows the head of a monkey in profile facing toward the viewer's right. Its hair stands up on end. Its visible eye is open, and it has short lines around it that make the eye appear wide open. It has a pointed nose, protruding teeth, and something hanging down from its ear (possibly an earring).

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The glyph for monkey very typically shows the hair (tzontli) on the top of its head standing up, and sometimes the hair is long and thick, and so very noticeable. Perhaps this portrayal of hair is meant to serve as a phonetic complement for the "zom" in the middle of the root ozoma, given that "tzon-" stands for hair.

The ozomatli is a day sign in the 260-day calendar called the tonalpohualli, so it was given as a name to babies born on its day. There was also a divine force or deity named Ozomatli, which, according to Desmond Morris (Monkey, 2013, 41), was "the companion spirit and servant of the god Xochipilli, the deity of music and dance. In paintings it is depicted dressed in malinalli herbs and with white, oval earrings with pointed ends." The wide-open eye of this particular version of ozomatli is also found in other manuscripts and may be, along with the hair, a diagnostic. The lines around the eye may intentionally add some tonalli, energizing force, as found in the name Totonametl (MH525r) and Atonal (MH624v), below.

Typically, a calendrical name would not only have the day sign but also a companion number from 1 to 13. By 1560, it is not unusual to see such numbers dropping away, whether inadvertently or possibly suppressed in the colonial context where consulting the pre-contact divinatory calendar could upset the local clergy. Perhaps the lines around the eye summon up the verb zoma, to frown in anger, also in a complementary phonetic role.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

antonio oçoma

Gloss Normalization: 

Antonio Ozoma

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla, Mexico

Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 

monkeys, monos, calendarios, tonalpohualli, días, deidades, deities, divinities, divine forces, ozomatli

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

El Mono

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 519v, World Digital Library. https://www.loc.gov/resource/gdcwdl.wdl_15282/?sp=118&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: