Tlepapalotl (MH649v)

Tlepapalotl (MH649v)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This colorful representation of the compound glyph for Tlepapalotl, a personal name (attested here as male), apparently has two main elements, a flame (tletl) and a butterfly (papalotl). This compound needs further analysis to identify which element is which.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

There is a verb identified by Barry Sell called tlepapalochihua, meaning "to plunge into the fire like a butterfly." Louise Burkhart (The Slippery Earth, 1989, 207) writes of tlepapalotl as "the moth that flies into the fire and dies" and "was used in indigenous moral discourse to denote the angry person who seeks conflict with others." The Gran Diccionario Náhuatl gives tlepapalotl as a "butterfly of the night" (my translation of the French from Wimmer 2004). In Seler’s study of the Aubin Tonalamatl, he makes potential associations between the tlepapalotl and tlachinolli. See Eduard Seler, The Tonalamatl of the Aubin Collection, 1901, p. 72; and, in his study of Codex Vaticanus No. 3773 (Codex Vaticanus B), published in 1903, he says that the tlepapalotl "is a synonym of the tlexochtli," p. 29.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla

Semantic Categories: 
Writing Features: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood

Parts (compounds or simplex + notation): 
Reading Order (Compounds or Simplex + Notation): 

polillas, mariposas, noche, fuego, flamas

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 649v, 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: