Tenapalo (MH551r)

Tenapalo (MH551r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the simplex glyph for the personal name or occupation Tenapalo (“Godparent,” "He Carries People," or "Governor," attested here as a man’s name) shows two hands coming together as though to support and perhaps protect a baby that is sitting upright. The baby or small child is naked. It sits facing toward the viewer's right. Its right arm is bent with the hand reaching out.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

According to Molina (1571), the term tenapaloani refers to a governor, in the sense of someone who is responsible for others. The "godparent" translation of tenapalo, which appears to fit the visual in the glyph, must be a Spanish colonial twist on the original term. Also important for understanding this glyph is the term nepaloa (which has the added indefinite pronoun, Te-, at the front in this name). It means to carry in one's arms, which is a very tempting explanation for the visual elements of this glyph. Thus, the translation could be something more like "He Carries People." He could also be an officer of some kind in the municipality, responsible in some way for the people of the altepetl.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

pedro tenapallo

Gloss Normalization: 

Pedro Tenapalo

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 
Other Cultural Influences: 

cargar, llevar, bebés, padrinos

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

tenapalo, godparent, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/tenapalo
tenapaloani, governor, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/tenapaloani
napaloa, to embrace; to adopt; take, carry in one's arms, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/napaloa
napalhuia, to take something in one's hands, or in one's arms for another person, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/napaloa

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

Padrino, o Él Que Lleva Gente en Sus Brazos

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 551r, World Digital Library, https://www.loc.gov/resource/gdcwdl.wdl_15282/?sp=181&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: