JCB Archive of Early American Images
JCB call number:
Codex Ind 2
11. y ultima del 2o. tratado. Calendario
Place image published:
plate; recto leaf 142
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Aztec tonalpohualli calendar with a sun at the center of the wheel. Divided into four sections, the reed (acatl), the rabbit (tochtli), the house (calli), and the flint (tecpatl).
Tovar, Juan de, ca. 1546-ca. 1626
Historia de la benida de los yndios apoblar a Mexico de las partes remotas de Occidente los sucessos y perigrinaçiones del camino su gouierno, ydolos y templos dellos, ritos y cirimonias ... calandarios delos tiempos
Source place of publication:
The Aztecs used two calendars to compute the days of the year. The first (or solar) calendar (xiuhpohualli) consisted of 365 days, divided into eighteen "months" of twenty units each, plus an additional period of five unlucky days at the end of the year. The second calendar was called the tonalpohualli or "day count." Its cycle was made up of 260 days, combinations of 13 numbers and twenty symbols. The acatl section of the calendar wheel is green, the color of the paradise of Tamoanchan (the Aztec equivalent of the Garden of Eden), and represents the east. The tochtli section is blue and represents the south. The calli section is in white (here the artist has used yellow) and represents the west. The tecpatl section is the color of sacrifice or red and represents the north. The Tovar manuscript is divided into three sections. This third section of the manuscript contains the Tovar calendar which records a continuous Mexican calendar with with months, weeks, days, dominical letters, and church festivals of a Christian 365-day year.
Lafaye, J. Manuscript Tovar, p. 297; Durán, D. The Aztecs, p. 338
Acquired from the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps in 1946.
Owner and copyright:
©John Carter Brown Library, Box 1894, Brown University, Providence, R.I. 02912
Indians of Mexico