Tonal (MH577v)

Tonal (MH577v)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the simplex glyph for the personal name Tonal (“Sun" or "Animating Force,” attested here as a man’s name) shows a frontal view of a four-point star shape with s tiny circle in the middle, making it a quincunx. Radiating out from between the points of the star, near the center, are some curving lines and some straight lines.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The radiating lines may suggest shimmer (a type of visual movement). This rendition of tonalli (day, sun, animating force) is very much like one in the Codex Vergara, folio 8 verso. The four points also recall the older tonatiuh glyphs. See some comparisons below.

This Nahua name is preceded in the gloss by a Christian first name (Toribio). He may have been named after Toribio de Benavente, also known as Motolinia ("One Who is Poor or Afflicted"). This was the first word he learned in Nahuatl, and he went on to learn the language well. He lived in the monastery in Huejotzingo. Doing a quick search for the name "Toribio" will produce an impressive result.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

dolibio tonal

Gloss Normalization: 

Toribio Tonal

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


sun, sol, day, día, fuerza personal, energía

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

tonal(li), sun, day, animating force,

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: