Xilotl (MH524v)

Xilotl (MH524v)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of the simplex glyph for the personal name Xilotl (here, attested as a woman's name) shows a frontal view of an upright corn cob (xilotl). It has a base and the husk is still on the maize cob as suggested by a diagonal line that curves from top to bottom. Corn silk comes off the top of the cob and curves toward the viewer's right. The silk has added pink or red coloring, which draws attention to it.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

The term and name Xilotl is much more common than Elotl in this collection. Perhaps the name Xilotl, which refers to the corn cob that was still forming kernels, was more akin to a new baby (as a metaphor) than Elotl, which had already formed its kernels.

The the tenderness of the xilotl seems to be indicated by the fact that the ear is still wrapped in the husk (which keeps it from drying out) and the silk (literally, "hair") is still somewhat fluffy. Some warriors wear a hairstyle that involves a tzontli going off the top of the head, somewhat reminiscent of the way corn silk bends over from the top of a cob of corn (see below).

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

maria xillotl

Gloss Normalization: 

María Xilotl

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood


maíz, corn, cobs, ears of corn, elotes, mazorcas, corn silk, inflorencia femenina del maíz

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

xilo(tl), tender green maize cob, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/xilotl
elotzin(tli), the silk (literally the hair) at the top of the corn cob, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/elotzontli

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 

Mazorca Tierna, Jilote, Elote

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Gran Diccionario Náhuatl, citing Durán, https://gdn.iib.unam.mx/diccionario/xilotl/189101

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 524v, 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: