Tochahua (MH537v)

Tochahua (MH537v)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the simplex glyph for the personal name Tochahua ("Our Mistress," attested here as a man’s name) shows a 3/4 view of two women facing each other, one grasping part of the hair of the other one. Both women have the woman's traditional huipilli blouse and their hair wound up in points above the forehead. It seem that the woman on the left is insulting the woman on the right, given that pulling hair was an insult. Note the look of surprise (wide open eye, eyebrow bent) on the face of the woman on the right.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The reading of stepmother usually comes with the addition of nantli to chahua. James Lockhart suggested that, by itself, chahua- was more generally a pejorative element characterizing secondary and irregular familial relationships. It can be translated as "mistress."

Food for thought is found in a proto-Classic West Mexican ceramic sculpture with funerary associations, which shows two women touching (and possibly pulling) each other's hair. See the museum webpage discussion of what may have been happening. This was part of an exhibition at the Museum of Art and Design at Miami Dade College.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

petro. tochahua

Gloss Normalization: 

Pedto Tochahua

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla, Mexico

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 

hair, cabello, pelo, pulling hair, insultando, pull, jalar

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

chahua, someone in an irregular relationship, a mistress,
chahuanan(tli), stepmother,

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

Nuestra Concubina

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 
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: