Tlaxich (MH649r)

Tlaxich (MH649r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This simplex glyph for the personal name Tlaxich (short for tlaxichtli, crossbow arrow), features an arrow standing upright. At the top is a jagged point with three barbs, and it is painted red (probably for blood). The jagged part is on the viewer's right. This name is attested here as having been held by a man.

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: 

juā tlaxich

Gloss Normalization: 

Juan Tlaxich

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood

Other Cultural Influences: 

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

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

tlaxich(tli), an arrow used with a crossbow,

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

posiblemente, Flecha de Ballesta o Passador de Ballesta

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 649r, 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: