Tonal (MH528v)

Tonal (MH528v)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the compound glyph for the personal name Tonal (here, attested as a man’s name) shows a bird's eye view of a quincunx--a four-petal flower shape with a circle in the middle. This may be a representation of the word tonalli, a vital force and a name for "day." Surrounding the flower are swirls of water (atl). This is a phonetic complement that emphasizes the "-al" of Tonal.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The phonetic "-al" is logically placed on the perimeter in this example, according to Gordon Whittaker (in a comment made at the Library of Congress on 4/18/2023).

The verb tona is "to make warm from the sun," and the tonalli is something that connects to "heat-light-energy" in the words of James Maffie (Aztec Philosophy, 2014, 590).

Incidentally, the nopalli cactus in the contextualizing image suggests that Francisco Tonal may have had the occupation of processing cochineal (nocheztli), a natural dye for textiles.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

franco tonal

Gloss Normalization: 

Francisco Tonal

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla, Mexico

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

sun, sol, día, agua

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

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 528v, 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: