This text outline omits illustrations.
Gender and ‘Earthly Names’ Among the Rural Nahua at contact
Names provide a compendium of the history of a civilization--Tibon.
Why are the names of ordinary Nahuas excluded from history?
What do gender differences in names suggest about relations between the sexes?
“Ordinary women…we don’t even know their names.”The Nahua Naming Ceremony
Naming Ceremony (Florentine Codex)
The Midwife Bathes the Newborn Babe
“And all during the time that she bathed the baby, a pine torch stood burning. It was not extinguished.”
“And then they there gave him a name, they there gave him his earthly name.”
Earthly Names Ceremony differs for boys and girls
Boys waitingto snatch the umbilical cord and eat it.
And as she washed it all over, its hands, its feet, she gave a talk to all...
Its hands, it was said, she cleaned of thievery. Everywhere on its body, its groin, it was said, she cleaned it of vice.
The naming ceremony began at sunrise… and concluded with a banquet
Then she raised it as an offering in the four directions; then she lifted it up, she raised it as an offering to the heavens.
Debate: Condition of Nahua Women
Leon-Portilla: prominent and of great social recognition
Rodriguez-Shadow: devalued and dominated
Kellogg: gender parallelism: complementary and symmetrical
From Classic Texts: Few Female Names
Sahagun’s General History, Persons and Deities: 436 Names, 47 occur in Cline’s Libro de Tributos, but only 2 female names.
Garibay’s Llave del Nahuatl: 12 pages of names but all male.
Schroeder’s genealogies for Chalco: 2 dozen female names--3 ordinary ones.
Source: The Book of Tributes by S.L. Cline (INAH, v. 549)
- Authentic Nahuatl texts written by native scribes, on fig-bark paper, according to prehispanic conventions (transcribed and translated by S.L. Cline).
Museo de Antropología, Mexico City: “Here is the home of one...named…Cuilol”.
A census recorded in glyphs(Santa Maria Asuncion, Harvey)
Cline on Libros and Names
“Although the writings themselves are in alphabetic form, the Nahuatl texts indicate very little impact from the Spanish world…”
Nahua names: “a linguistic thicket”
4 most common names for each sex. What are the differences?
Teyacapan 315 (First one)
Matlalihuitl 63(Rich Feather)
Common names 6th-10th most frequent by sex
Xocoyotl 38(Youngest one)
Tlacoehua 22(Second daughter)
Cihuaton 15(Littlest female)
Frequency of Common Female Names
Common Male NamesNote low frequency of most names
Names in a Tlatoani Family
Don Tomas [illegible]…zatzin.
Females: dona Maria TonallaxochiatlAna Tlaco, Maria Xocoyotl, Magdalena Tlaco, Cocoyotl, Maria Tlaco, Marta Xoco, Teicuh (2), Necahual, Magdalena Teya[ca]pan.
Males: Pedro Tecue[tlaca?], Pedro Omacatl, Cocoliloc
Female names by marital status
Male names by marital condition
Conclusions: Earthly Names of Ordinary People
Male names: individualized, symbolic, diverse
Female names: categorical, birth order, boring
Gender relations: asymmetrical and trapezoidal
Nahua Gender Relations: assymetry, hierarchy, oppression
Average age at marriage: girls: 12.7 yearsboys: 19.4 years
Widowhood: a female affair
Household: only male heads
Demography, percents and averages:
Demography, percents and averages:
4. Ever-married females, aged: 10-14: 50% married or widowed 15-19: 95% id. 20-24: 98% id. 25+: 100% id.
5. Average marriage age (SMAM) = 12.7 years for females (+/-1 year) 19.4 years for males (+/-1 year)
“Just a Little Old Man”
“Just a Little Old Woman”