Tlacuatl (MH631r)

Tlacuatl (MH631r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the simplex glyph for the personal name Tlacuatl ("Opossum" or "Possum," attested here as a man's name) shows a little animal in profile view, facing toward the viewer's right. It has spots on its coat, its feet are stretched out in front of it, and its tail is curving behind. The tlacuatl entered Mexican Spanish as tlacuache.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Although there is no hint of sexuality of fertility in this glyph, in Nahua culture the tlacuatl does have associations with sexuality and fertility. [See the MA art history thesis by Deniz Martinez, “Cross-cultural Currents and Syncretism in Early Modern Opossum Iconography,” Lindenwood University, 2022, 39;

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 

Antonio Tlacuatl

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood


animales, animales, zarigüeya, marsupial

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


Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 631r, 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: