Tlamauh (MH650r)

Tlamauh (MH650r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This colorful painting of the simplex glyph for the personal name Tlamauh ("Wise One" or "Knowledgeable One," attested here as pertaining to a man) shows an eye with a black pupil and red surrounds. The upper eyelid or eyebrow is raised off the eyeball somewhat, while the lower lid or rim is attached to the eyeball. The eye seems to play a semantic role for the vision and experience that leads to knowledge.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Tlamauh (often spelled Tlamao) is a powerful name. The style of this eye is also called the starry eye or stellar eye, given how it can double as a star in the sky. This connection with celestial phenomena may relate to the meaning of the personal name. From other examples we also see a connection with Ehecatl. The name seems to derive from tlahmati, supposedly to "practice trickery or sorcery" (very close to tlamati, to know something). However, the translation of sorcery and trickery reveals a Christian bias on the part of the friar Alonso de Molina, and really the Nahuas saw the Tlamao as being wise, perhaps like a priest or a tlamatini. Supporting this, the use of the eye (ixtli) for the glyph calls forth the verb ixtlamati, to be wise, prudent. Furthermore, Marc Thouvenot (2010, 178–181) explains how iximati (which can become imati, to manage cleverly or create skillfully) compares to mati (to know). Imati involves knowing through seeing, much like conocer might indicate in Spanish, and mati is "to know" as in saber in Spanish. Once again, then, the eye glyph is a semantic indicator for a place of wisdom.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

juā tlamaho

Gloss Normalization: 

Juan Tlamauh (or Juan Tlamao)

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood


ojos, sabiduría, brujería, hechicería

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

tlamauh, wise one, knowledgeable person, or possibly sorcerer,
tlamauh(tli), crazed, berzerk, or infected,
ix(tli), eye,
ixtlamati, to be wise, prudent,
tlamati, to know something, to jest, or to practice "sorcery" (verb),
tlamatini, a sage, wise person, scholar,
tlama, someone knowledgeable, also a medico,

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 


Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 650r, 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: