Tolcayuca, Mapa Techialoyan de

This manuscript is associated with the indigenous community of San Juan Tolcayuca, modern state of Hidalgo, republic of Mexico. It is an unpublished example from the genre called “Techialoyan Codices” — late colonial, Nahuatl-language manuscripts written and painted on amatl (amate in Spanish, the name for a native fig-bark paper). Techialoyan manuscripts date from the late-seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. This particular one is not found in the catalog published in the Handbook of Middle American Indians in 1975. It is a part of the Jay I. Kislak Collection in the Library of Congress. The map-like Tolcayuca manuscript is painted on one side of a large, rectangular piece of amatl, measuring about 2’ by 3’. It seems to record a territorial border survey, possibly carried out in the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century. The survey is marked by footprints around what may have been the communal holdings of the pueblo of Tolcayuca. The pictorial also shows an open-air meeting held in front of the community church, attended by a large group of indigenous women and two men, an indigenous noble and a Spanish friar or priest. Colonial law did not allow native women to serve on the local town council, but this image dramatically suggests that women remained active participants at important meetings, such as this public reading of the town’s land titles. At the center of the manuscript is the town of San Juan Tolcayuca symbolically represented by a Christian church and a small group of houses. Other towns in the vicinity appear around the edges of the manuscript. Bodies of water, hills, and possibly pyramids can also be seen. Stone piles and crosses apparently serve as territorial landmarks. Eight lines of Nahuatl-language text appear on the manuscript, in addition to a number of glosses. The text refers to the establishment of the town boundaries -- supposedly on a Wednesday in July in the year 1520. (Stephanie Wood)

Title variants: 
Mapa Techialoyan de Tolquauhyocan, Hidalgo, Mexico
Principal editor: 
Stephanie Wood
This manuscript was in the private collection of Jay I. Kislak in Miami Lakes, Florida, in the late twentieth and early twenty-first-century. The manuscript was for sale for a time in the mid-1980s at H.P. Kraus Rare Books and Manuscripts in New York. It is not known if Mr. Kislak purchased the manuscript from Kraus or if it changed hands one or more times before he acquired it. Prior to the 1980s, its ownership history is unknown. Mr. Kislak donated the manuscript to the Library of Congress in 2007.

Transcriptions and Translations

Analytic Transcription English Translation Literal Transcription Spanish Translation Standardized Transcription
axcan ypan tohiu molpia mopoa xihutl cahuitl yn omoquilo yn omotlilmachioti ynin maba omoquaxoxtlali ynin toaltepeuah ypanpa semicac tlaneltie.. nictlilmachiotia axcan mielcoles ytlapoal xolio mopoa senchiquipili ypan castolpoali yguan matlacpoali y[...]uan senpuali xihil---- On this day our years are tied. The year and time is counted, [the year count when] this map was written and recorded and the boundaries of our altepetl were established so that it would always be verified. I record that it is today, Wednesday, in the count of July, counting one xiquipilli [here, thousand] and 300 and 200 and 20 [i.e. 1520] years. axcan ypan tohiu molpia mopoa xihutl cahuitl yn omoquilo yn omo tlil machioti ynin maba omoquaxox tlali ynin toaltepeuah ypanpa se micac tlaneltie... nictlilmachiotia axcan mielcoles ytlapoal xolio mo poa sen chiquipili ypan castolpoali yguan matlacpoali y..uan senpuali xihil---- En este día nuestros años estan atados. El año y tiempo se cuenta, [el cuento del año cuando] que este mapa fue escrito y se registró y los linderos de nuestro altepetl se establecieron para que siempre puede ser verificado. Yo apunto que es hoy, miércoles, en la cuenta de julio, contando un ‘xiquipilli’ [aquí, mil] y 300 y 200 y 20 [o 1520] años. axcan ipan toxiuh molpia mopohua xihuitl cahuitl in omicuilo in omotlilmachioti inin mapa omoquaxochtlalli inin toaltepeuh ipampa cemicac tlaneltie.. nictlilmachiotia axcan miercoles itlapohual julio mopohua cenxiquipilli ipan caxtolpohualli ihuan matlacpohualli ihuan cempohualli xihuitl----
Xan Caspa... San Gaspar xanCaspa San Gaspar San Gaspa[r]
Xan Caspa... San Gaspar xan Caspa San Gaspar San Gaspa[r]
Xicalhuacan Xicalhuacan xicalhuacan Xicalhuacan Xicalhuacan
Xicalhuacan Xicalhuacan xicalhuacan Xicalhuacan Xicalhuacan
xanta malia no[-] paltepec Santa María Nopaltepec xantamalia no paltepec Santa María Nopaltepec Santa María Nopaltepec
xanta malia no[-] paltepec Santa María Nopaltepec xantamalia no paltepec Santa María Nopaltepec Santa María Nopaltepec
Xan Xuan Tolquauhyocan San Juan Tolcayuca xanxuantolquauyocan San Juan Tolcayuca San Juan Tolquauhyocan
Tlilhuacan Tlilhuacan
tlilhuacan Tlilhuacan tlilhuacan Tlilhuacan Tlilhuacan