Tlaxich (MH488r)

Tlaxich (MH488r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the simplex glyph for the personal name Tlaxich (“Crossbow Arrow,” attested here as a man’s name) shows a vertical arrow in a profile view. It has a barbed tip, pointing upward. The tip has three barbs.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The barbs distinguish this arrow from most of the arrows called mitl and acatl. At least one example of a mitl, however, does have barbs on the point (see below). Crossbows were introduced into Mesoamerica by Europeans. Some of them fell into Native hands during battles, along with swords, harquebuses, cannon, metal armor, etc. But even when these weapons were not captured and turned on the invaders, the Nahuas were interested in learning about them and the technology they represented. Still, this could be simply another Indigenous type of arrow. The mitl, for example, is a common one. The label of "crossbow arrow" comes from the translation by Alonso de Molina, so further research may be required to be sure that he was correct.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

luys tlaxich

Gloss Normalization: 

Luis Tlaxich

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla

Cultural Content & Iconography: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Xitlali Torres

Shapes and Perspectives: 
Other Cultural Influences: 

crossbows, arrows, flechas, ballestas, pasadores, pasador, tlaxichtli, proyectiles, nombres de hombres

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

tlachitli, a crossbow arrow, noted for the barbed tip,

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

posiblemente, Flecha de Ballesta o Passador de Ballesta

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 488r, 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: