Tzihuacxoch (MH546r)

Tzihuacxoch (MH546r)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the compound glyph for the personal name Tzihuacxoch (“Agave Flower,” attested here as a woman’s name) shows a frontal view of a tree trunk with its branches trimmed. Below the stalk is a flower, also in a frontal view, with three petals, a tripartite sepal, and one horizontal leaf.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

In other examples of tzihuactli, below, some have this same look of a small tree trunk with the branches cut off, although one is clearly a cactus. The tree (cuahuitl) seems to provide the phonetic "hua" of tzihuactli.

A metaphorical use of tzihuactli is found in the huehuetlatolli (“elders’ wisdom; words of the elders”) compiled under the leadership of Fray Andrés de Olmos. In the published version’s glossary, an editor’s note tells us that “in the original Nahuatl, tzihuactli, teteihuitl, is a diphrasism that refers to two objects [used in] sacrificial rites.”

Women's names are rare in this tribute list, given that married women contributed to the household tribute, which is recorded under the husband's name. Only widows are recorded separately for their tribute payments.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla, Mexico

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood

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

flowers, flores, agave, stalks, tallos, spines, espinas

Glyph or Iconographic Image: 
Relevant Nahuatl Dictionary Word(s): 
Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

La Flor del Agave Pequeño

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: