Xiuhtli (MH660r)

Xiuhtli (MH660r)
Simplex Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of a group of seven rectangular turquoise pieces (xihuitl) is a phonetic indicator for the name Xiuhtli ("Comet"), a near homophone. As a personal name, Xiuhtli can also be given to babies born at the end of a 52-year cycle. When it relates to the ending of a 52-year cycle, the name Xiuhtli could contain the Xiuh- that is the stem for xihuitl (year). Turquoise (xihuitl), barely distinguishable from the word for year) is also a near homophone for comet (xiuhtli), which makes this a phonogram. Apparently, the turquoise mosaic pieces, the artist/writer hoped, would bring to mind the name Xiuhtli. There are other names in this collection that similarly use the turquoise pieces, such as Xiuhnel, the name of the morning star and a cloud serpent in the Nahua religion.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

This popular name, Xiuhtli, is linked to the religious calendar of years, because it was a name given to boys born during the time of the binding ceremony at the end of every fifty-two year cycle. Because both the stem of the words for both comet and turquoise is xiuh-, it is easy to see how the iconography can overlap.

See the name Xiuhnel, below, for another example of xihuitl drawn as turquoise tesserae (mosaic pieces). See also the year (xihuitl) sign drawn as a turqouise mosaic in the date, cempohualli xihuitl (Mxnus19) (also shown below).

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 

Juā. xiuhtli

Gloss Normalization: 

Juan Xiuhtli

Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood

Shapes and Perspectives: 

turquesa, mosáicos, piezas, tesserae, teselas, cometas, comets, nombres de hombres, año, turquesa, xihuitl

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

xiuh(tli), a comet comet and a name for a boy born at the end of a 52-year cycle, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/xiuhtli
xihui(tl), turquoise, https://nahuatl.wired-humanities.org/content/xihuitl-0

Glyph/Icon Name, Spanish Translation: 


Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 660r, World Digital Library, https://www.loc.gov/resource/gdcwdl.wdl_15282/?sp=400&st=image

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: