Tencax (MH604r)

Tencax (MH604r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the compound glyph for the personal name Tencax (“Bowl-Lipped," attested here as a man’s name) shows a profile view of the head of a man facing toward the viewer's right. His mouth is open, which draws attention to his lips and chin. Next to his lower lip (tentli) is a bowl (caxitl). It is something of a crescent shaped-bowl (akin to the region's way of showing the number fifteen, caxtolli, which starts with "cax-" as caxitl does. The man's hair is unusual, and his eye is large and wide open. So, the method of his representation would seem to be othering him somewhat. So, perhaps "Bowl-Lipped," is meant and seen as a kind of deformity or notable feature of the person's appearance.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

There is an adjective "tencaxtic," apparently used to call someone bowl-lipped. In the gloss, the "n" of Ten- is missing. We have assumed that the omission was inadvertent, and therefore, Tencax ("Bowl-Lipped") was intended. Otherwise, it could be Tecax ("Stone-Bowl"), with the lips providing a phonetic indicator for stone. Still, stones are easily drawn, and so if the artist wished to convey something about stone, it would be strange not to have drawn one.

Having some kind of physical abnormality could have been a plus. Ben Leeming has written about people with deformities in Nahua culture as "morally neutral, supernaturally powerful, and ultimately essential members of the Mesoamerican sacred realm." [See: “Big-Old Long Lips, Big-Old Jar Nose": Ancient Mesoamerican Monsters and Clowns and the Transformation of Christianity in Early Colonial Mexico," Ancient Mesoamerica 33:2 (Summer 2022).

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

dio tecas

Gloss Normalization: 

Diego Tecax

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huexotzinco, Matrícula de (MH)

Semantic Categories: 
Writing Features: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 
Parts (compounds or simplex + notation): 
Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 

labios, caxitl, media luna, cuenco

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

Labio de Cuenco

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 604r, World Digital Library, https://www.loc.gov/resource/gdcwdl.wdl_15282/?sp=290st=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: