Pochtlan (MH525r)

Pochtlan (MH525r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the compound glyph for the personal name or his place of origin, Pochtlan (“Near the Market,” attested here as a man’s name) shows a large circle with smaller concentric circles in the middle, apparently representing a market (tianquiztli). Between the perimeter and the inner circles are ten segments that look something like teeth or kernels of corn; perhaps these segments were places where vendors could sell their wares.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Pochtlan was a place famous for its long-distance merchants, the Pochteca. Thus, the place name and the ethnic affiliation came to be equated with the occupation of long-distance merchant (pochtecatl), according to James Lockhart in The Nahuas.

In Nahua culture, the word tianquiztli was the word frequently used for the marketplace. This term also applied to a constellation, which may have been owing to some coincidence of shape between the standard marketplace and the arrangement of the stars (citlalin) that made up the constellation. Many glyphs for tianquiztli include footrpints, which can have a semantic reading of people in movement in a busy place such as a market. But footprints in those glyphs also provide the -quiz- (from quiza, to emerge) phonetic complement to tianquiztli. Here, if Pochtlan has footprints in the marketplace, they are very stylized and difficult to see as footprints, helping prevent the literal reading of Tianquizco.

Footprint glyphs have a wide range of translations. In this collection, so far, we can attest to yauh, xo, pano, -pan, paina, temo, nemi, quetza, otli, iyaquic hualiloti, huallauh, tepal, tetepotztoca, totoco, otlatoca, -tihui, and the vowel "o." Other research (Herrera et al, 2005, 64) points to additional terms, including: choloa, tlaloa, totoyoa, eco, aci, quiza, maxalihui, centlacxitl, and xocpalli.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 


Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huexotzinco, Matrícula de (MH)

Semantic Categories: 

mercaderes, mercados

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

Cerca del Mercado

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 525r, World Digital Library, https://www.loc.gov/resource/gdcwdl.wdl_15282/?sp=129&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: