Yaotl (MH638v)

Yaotl (MH638v)
Compound Glyph

Glyph or Iconographic Image Description: 

This black-line drawing of a war shield stands for the personal name Yaotl (here, "The Combatant"). It also has attributes of a turtle (ayotl) shell, which serves as a phonetic indicator, given that ayotl is a near homonym of yaotl. The shape of the shield is not round, which was the shape of earlier shields, but has curving indentations at top and bottom. The middle of the shield has a criss-crossing mesh pattern. The right and left curves each have three, curving, shell-like patterns.

Description, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Added Analysis: 

Yaotl is an extremely common name in the Matrícula de Huexotzinco. The early Nahuas lived in a warrior culture, which probably valued being brave and fierce. While "enemy" is the literal translation of yaotl, the name had more the sense of a valiant combatant (as suggested by James Lockhart). The man bearing the name Yaotl also has a baptismal name, Mateo. Putting Yaotl second to the baptismal name probably eventually led to it being seen as a surname (as a result of European influence). But today Yaotl is used more as a given name, and many people equate it with Warrior.

This shield can be compared to other graphic styles from other tlacuilos, below. The shape and the cross may suggest European influences, but the Indigenous shield was usually round with feathers coming off the bottom.

Added Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Gloss Image: 
Gloss Diplomatic Transcription: 


Gloss Normalization: 


Gloss Analysis, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Date of Manuscript: 


Creator's Location (and place coverage): 

Huejotzingo, Puebla

Semantic Categories: 
Cultural Content, Credit: 

Jeff Haskett-Wood

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

wars, guerras, warriors, guerreros, enemies, enemigos, turtle, tortuga

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

El Combatiente

Spanish Translation, Credit: 

Stephanie Wood

Image Source: 

Matrícula de Huexotzinco, folio 638v, World Digital Library, https://www.loc.gov/resource/gdcwdl.wdl_15282/?sp=359st=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: