Tlacaxolocatl (MH872r)

Tlacaxolocatl (MH872r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the simplex glyph for the personal name Tlacaxolocatl, attested here as pertaining to a man, shows what may be a baby with two heads. One looks one way, and the other looks the other way. The hairstyle suggests that of males. The body is not clothed. The arms show no hands, and the legs and feet are virtually missing. The name may suggest some sense of a disability more than just the sense of part-human, part-animal as attested in Tzinacapan in 1984 (see the Gran Diccionario Náhuatl).

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

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).

The name Tlacaxolocatl is somewhat reminiscent of the Tlacatecolotl, a human-horned owl, which is another type of combined human and animal, and it had a supernatural connotation, perhaps like this name did.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 

gemelos siamesas, bebé con dos cabezas, nombres de hombres

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

tlacaxolo(tl), a tapir, or a startling part-person, part-animal,
tlaca(tl), a person,
-catl, a suffix that signifies affiliation,
tlacatecolo(tl), human-horned owl, person with supernatural powers,
xolo, a page, a waiter, a servant, or an enslaved human being,
xolotl, a type of dog, a ruler, or a deity,

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

En Parte Humana, En Parte Animal (supuestamente)

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 872r, World Digital Library,

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: