Tlilpotonqui (MH647r)

Tlilpotonqui (MH647r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the simplex glyph for the personal name or label Tlilpotonqui ("Sticky-Stinky Black Feather Ritual Device") is attested here as a man's name. The glyph looks much like glyphs for rubber (olli), which does not enter into the name phonetically, but it could be the stinky (potonqui) and sticky substance that attached the feathers to the ritual device.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

For a potential visual for the black feathered device associated with a certain type of priest, see the first two examples of other tlilpotonqui glyphs, below. Tlilpotonqui has multiple possible translations. The name was held by some illustrious figures, including Quetzalcoatl and Miguel Tlilpotonqui, the son of Tlacaelel and grandson of Huitzilihuitl. See the Online Nahuatl Dictionary for more information.

Magnus Pharao Hansen wrote this when trying to translate Tlilpotonqui (which he found in the Morelos census of 1544): "'he stinks black'?". [See his blog at: That translation could work literally, but the ritual dimension seems important for clarifying that the reference is probably not to bodily odor.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

thomas tlilpotoqui

Gloss Normalization: 

Tomás Tlilpotonqui

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood


colores, negro, oloroso, pegajoso, hule, plumas, sacerdotes, bastardos

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

tlilpotonqui, a personal name, a title, a priest who wore a feather adornment, or a rare bean,
tlil(li), black color, soot, ink,,
potonqui, dusty or stinky,
potoni, dust,

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

(objeto ritual de plumas negras apestosas)

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 647r, 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: