Temictli (MH785v)

Temictli (MH785v)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the simplex glyph for the personal name Temictli ("Dream" or "Caterpillar") is attested here as a man's name. It shows an upright silkworm cocoon or caterpillar with swirling lines from top to bottom. Emerging from the top is what appears to be a hairless human head in profile, looking toward the viewer's right.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

At least two other glyphs in this collection show caterpillars for the name Temic or Temictli. Caterpillars resemble shrouded corpses, which could be a phonetic indication for micqui (deceased person), and provide the "mic-" element in this name. Perhaps the caterpillars were meant to disguise the meaning of "dream." Bartolomé de Alva's confessionary shows that Nahuas were interrogated about their belief in dreams. Another consideration is that the caterpillar was a dream of a butterfly to come, and butterflies figure prominently in Nahua religious beliefs, as explained in an article by Ian Mursell in Mexicolore.

Temictli was also a famous name, given to the nephew of Moctezuma 1. Here it is also attested as a man's name.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

juo temictli

Gloss Normalization: 

Juan Temictli

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood


nombres de hombres, un sueño, una oruga, un muerto

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

La Gente Muere

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 785v, World Digital Library, https://www.loc.gov/resource/gdcwdl.wdl_15282/?sp=645&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: