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The Tomtamatl



Aubin Collection.

fin Old Mexican Picture Manuscript.




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The Tonalamatl of the Aiibin Collection.

An Old Mexican Picture Manuscript in the Paris National Library

(Manuscrlts Mexlcains No. 18 t9).

Published at the Expense of his E xcellency the Duke of Loubat.

With Introduction and Explanatory Text


Dr. Eduard Seler,

Fi> tper of Aumnn* IjitguwUr*, Ktbnqfrapfct, mb»1 Aratoology

in Mm* I'ttivsrvuy ti llorlia.







1000 - 1901 .

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English Edition

1 T

A. H. Keane,



AolkratuUiteil Itnlhuli <>( m<1 In-.Aid

/tUM l , Ami, «—., * r***, *4 . i-«4w A A

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Hi* Bxoeltenoy

Joseph Florimonl, Duke of Lou hat.

Your Excellency.

Jimtly recognising tbaffor tbr investigation o( the ancient culture of the Mexican and Central Awrinn peoples their prorial writings an* of primary importance, you have fur a number of

yt-arr mode It your special jure to have faithful reproductions prepared of the fragments of a large

and comprehensive litrnltut which has by a happy fortune hern rescued from destruction ; in this

utilising the processes of ti modern photographic lechnupir, which alone makes such reproductions powible, and placing them I the disposal of students of all uathxuaUtim. Amongst these documents

vou have remembered thiTonalamatl, a manuscript which the learned Boturini had rightly


remains in the year 1NH.

This document became for se first time more generally known through the uneolounsl drawings

which were published in 17 by the administration of the Museo Nacionnl de Mexico.

At the


one of



valuable in

to incluttin his oultection of obi Mexican

his collection, and which the diligent investigator.


Auliin, was able

time 1 (Attained a spec! meat these copies through my highly esteemed friend Dr. Pcfiafiel, and

was thus enabled to place (fore the International Congress of Americanists, which met In Berlin

the v«ar 1WW, a thoioul ini|uiry into the contents of the mnnuscript, ami of the figure* and


symbols represented in it. Your Excellency has been induced by this circumstance to invite

me to provide an introdmt, and explanatory text for the facsimile edition which you have now

brought out.

For this eonssiou 1 am sincerely grateful, and have undertaken it with pleasure.

My work of the year 1KH8 I bean the first attempt to explore a difficult and hitherto completely neglected field of research, am conscious of having at. that time availed myself of every possible

might serve to plain the figures and clear up the problems, and of having eagerly

track, while Upoe

By the publication of the splendid pietofcnl Codex

then much fresh matter hi^ome to light.

of the Palais Bourbon, whiiwas partly also made passible by your assistance, the inquiry lias

means that



true solution.

I I am also aware

that I followed many a wrong


placed <m






the following

exposition i have accordingly luul

thoroughly to recast my work.

In doing m I

have in the

same way,

in the year 1S98. not

confined myself to tin* mmning of the separate element 1 * of the manuscript.

As in the elucidation

of grammatical forms the philologist cannot re*t satisfied with the materials supplied by a single

language, hut must compare them with those of the kindred tongues, md investigate the earlier

conditions of linguistic development, in the sain* way the forms uni symbol* figured in this

reprewentations ill

pictorial script


lie made intelligible only by comparison with th« allied

other pictorial writings ;

for after


they are


kind of

*|iocrh. r rueiins of communicating

is presented by the interpretations of the


Codex Telleriano- Rrmcnsis, dating from a time when the meaning of these figures and symbols was atill understood, 1 believe that in what follows I hare pointed wit many new paths, and

brings together the

But this attempt also will still need many impnnemonts, many rectifications,


I hare

students shall

acquitted myself ill accordance with the intentions of your Kxccllcn^.

Trusting further to the solid ground which

given a satisfactory interpretation of

correlated elements.

and, above

all. will



the general

meaning, one that

require to lie completed.


a stimulus and




to further



hope, fellow- workers

research, I diall




Steglitx, August 1900.

Eduard 8eler.

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1. History of the Manuscript.

Til# intHnfefiiig and lin|w»rtant jiictorUl

whMi. thank* to

I tie taiualfi<*«Kv of that groat tuwourager of Anowitmi rfmlbu. HU

nil student *,

timw t» Ui<* objection of tit# Mibuiwa* hiatoHon aul

wrh*adogi»t r i'amlwri' l/vrtitii Huturiui Ilenadm-i. Aw to how iutd

helongod at

Kxeelleucy th# I>ok# of


I* now


In th# judicial

Inventory of Ik <i until'* collet* ion taken in the City of Mexico in tit#

Ymu 1742, the document i* entered under the No. 32 in the inventory

of the sixth day (September M, 1743). und i# described a* folknr* :

tore it e*»e into hi* pm ar n tnm nothing i* know*.

inoriliew 4 innum ilAr*

qne *r <Muan oK#rrj»r Ink" k»» ilia* del oiks en die* V *eiw

I'll Oilrtnlario wMAtrico dr In*


{dntadae en

|«l*el dr maguey gnew, v drutro ike 4J JMMn

IX Lorenao einc# j*»j*4ew de aptnitew Itamiit#* A »u etplkociott.'’ 1

In thlw d#*cr»ptkm there u tin error. The numn*cri|4 contain*,

uirf MXteen, bat eighteen punted ihrct*. Hie woxmt of the content*

of the document given in the inventory on the *tntcrarr»U of Boturmi

|w aim inmrcnmte. In tlu* pictorial work the fiestas inntovible**

nr# not ilenlt with.

Brit tlutl the document describ'd in the inventory in the above

quoted terms k» really the here rrjeodueed tanxiiMm|* the Toaafcunatl

of Auhinw t.VAlert ion in shown from the hut that on the in**d# of th#

lust 1-4* Tik sheet (tol lowing jaige 2Mt) we tint! written vu the i>U-f**hiuoeil

trie of llm Uu* (eight##nth) century the word* :

Kalendario Ydclat riro en 16 f.

No. 23.

Vuv’** 4 .

n*c value <rf tlii* immuwrijit wa*> al»o nltvndy rviilmt to Rotuiini

hi mo- If.


hi* r**ny “Idea tie unit Nueva H 1*1 orin timornl



wdre Material cufduao ile flgunt*.

m mluktf, «ract<ltr«, y gwigliHww. c*nUn« y Mawwtltu* ilr Autvwe*

A m-' rim Septentrional, fundads

P«na£*i. * >(j«iaiif*bl<>* del Arte M»vir*n.i Aniigno,

nJ lCf . J*. lit.

fWrlin 1*90 T«»t

ImtixM. tilt i moment e ilrwruhietf ow " (Madrid 1746) lie

descrlb*# in

I XV U' niter hfc* fashion the agronomic w. adding, wit hunt Imw- #ter naming thi* author, arvonhng to Jwiuto d# 1* Sermi'w U**k,'


in a different order,

th# M Signo*

Cdntw d#



and reinorln thrmipon :

" And if I had the lurk to me*t amo*g»f the Indian liMtorirm*

an mat liar who arranged the above-mentioned **gn«, and the planrt*

hiuiiVM, in their right


1 should pre^awe chart* and cvrUral

dUpo*M iime in the Indian ninnner, following the proper and true


And a* regard* the signs I vrill take

mre with the

chart of a rrfuof cofendor, almul which I will cx|>fcun in the following


deities which thi* nuuiu*cri|* contain* on many ]<aget, and the

under N«. 3. in order to fix the 18 pact are* of the chief

other twn [jiirtare*^ which are miiviug in thi* iMnn*cri]>r.


many of the picture* whirh are

there fiwnnd

*mn to mo to


th# character of celedial




The chart




calendar,*' to which


refer* in


)«u*Hg«v u th#


jKihlidied TonaliunatL

e*my Boturini deal# with it under No t, remarking thereupon :




the following

{ xxx of


* Tengu de eate A ho

Kit uni

un antkjuimoio Ma|« en jjttpd

ffriuumt /ndiuno npvliUnfo, V que en utui parte tieoe prpuin


pi iiitmi* de Faxaro, y #e recoge, y dohla oomo

una pema

de patki. eu

quehlan he Kilos, divtribovenm Ins Fiesta* Movibft* p Ftj-is


qimi lo*

fkicerdotei de lo< Idolot,

A cuvo cargo



Din*#* rn 3K>. pagma*. o qiuutcle*.

Lievnndo ctwln nna

della* uu Triadecat^riiin de Svtnhola* de lo* dins del afla, eor-

rerfwuiihentr* nl Siateina del AIW» toman, a n h it /aitnu ins

rlo* ullimeis pa*finat (nm octaltalar lo* 3<A ]tnm*i|*fck* ^niloku

1 Hw ia>c4 to wink the author

refer* m the Mwnoii 4b MiiiMn* 4*


f*m el

(VioNbiiost'i da am IdulaUiu j

Eilayw-Mi de

t HftpiMU. |K# <1 Dr. Jarinlo dm U Harm." pu Libbed in Lb* AtnW «l*i Mw>«

N'atMtl dt Ucti ii

T iibii vi., Ibiim. IWJ


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1. Mwtory <4 the MouuwriH


Wm dua* del

Afto. ko

qoe *e hnllau

m rate

Miqat i liefoMitto*

J* utnt titi*to tit> I * qttt Me vt tit Jour T*tbio* *W /Wur Sermn,

Mfiwlow m»jnM*tr ii amUtr at iv t »V», dumb* iW» om*r |«r ultimo

uftwtantr i|iiit iu.mU lo kiUiiKi pur In qtte I'rt

la* Tabla* dr

el e$ Ci/HtcSti,

& la qumta tin




hAd m|

Sent* 13. TnbU# itr a 20. «Ii»s 5 «*n rate Mn{« 20. (Agin** d«*

fnrinarw eta

k 13. diaa.

Y dr nolar qor In 1*4111* It. qrn- I* Cairn, drbr

rinjmear por


Symbol o re ftatfof/. uu TJjjr*. qua e* or-

rr*qmndir»i*r. y urabir na Ttiadcratt-riihi rn 13. ilufnixtli, Irw*

le faJta. deh* eiiipenir

V acahar >u Triadeentfrirfn eu 13.

fti w CipMUtti* uti Tibnriin.

.1 o*tl, tma < Vuik ; dr merle ijui* dr mm, u otm inolu, e*t»»


j la joti'iim 2-'





13. Taiwan dr & 20, din* ii 20.

Ihgina* dr a 13. dim.

y ne vurlve nl pHnripo dr

rlka. eonttnoami) A rouiar



intemdiin**, ton *n»



(•unto luu Ur Firtta*, » tVreuionina, qor o*irrrtqKHtdian A eada


itka dr rl

tvittltan *«

la qwnt* 200.

100. din*



linqp* *• afrfclm

»iifnadv«, y

Im 3.

m *«, y dan


i|iierfw eonipletu rl aAo. y

pngim* dr rl

u*as /*ynr*n* rulh# <U

dr rtnU

dirt dr H afto, y fan* dr e*to* »© rd pintado ajiarte a a ht*Jo

H gmttl por ararfenWu tm rmr^noimdo tori. t a^neilo


Kn Ue rr»(*rttiH*

tuikcoo Ma|« ertAn.

/Ji««m, 0Hp0ritiot.inii U*m

Tri<tii«c*ti*r>Aa, edo e* qur m 1V»«h era mat rolrtnar. v ditraUtn

loa Kilos r <Vrrinonbs dr alia 13. ilia*, run mnyuce* drnxuira-

rkniiM, rucoo quanrio m nor* ran Kalendarioa Krlrtioiliro* M *

nu>. and iiillnvra, it gnaiiatlly mrltni away. 1

A largr nnenber >i

tin* ikvtuiinii4 the

tiama* rontriveil romrlmw or other to get

of la* |*«f*'riy after hi* death Atanader rnn llambddt aequind a

tim *alr

w<*4|«knuwn n*i nmoiurr D. An run. in dr f^wi v

bold of.


fr« fraguirnts aiiieti are now tn the Royal lihrary. Heflin.* A g«*H

many of the other* were afterward* bnaght by Aufcn, whu. after the

Revolution of July 133IX had gone a* a n-fugee to .Mexico, and a a*

i«n)|4N| then* till 1H40 m* ibnixur of a Knnie*)Irtinia t'oilrgr.

Throe aiklilioiial il*wntn*«it» wm* hnnigtit to Kjm»je l»y taunt Max


Walilnk, aim loot twen coinittiMa*anal by l*ird King«lKnnug1i to go to

Mexitsi, w*1 ilurtng the V«ua 1IU2-33 IuhI made dniwing* for him of

the imaiunronl* in the |wmiiu«->. of Vmvttna and f'liiaim*. tkhrr* have

ftmod their any to Plnladr||iliia and elsewhere, and the re* of the

<ViUi>rtNMi ha» oUainwl ait arvluiti in th*

Naidonal de Mexico.

<Hu Tuaialaitmi I «m anmngkt the document** of the Botnrint

Hr ilreriliw

l '-illn-t too which wrte In the | ****»*£* m of Inn y tiaina-

it in hi* bnok qtmeed in tlir ahm- Mr.' ad«ling rtiat l«r had a coja-


^tnico. and thU k*

of it (jcefuroil. ami Imd wiiini to that i%qtj the taro (og»*v

AuUu procured tbr eojiy in

in tbe original. 1

now includf^J with the ro*t of hi* Collection iu the lhui* Bihlk>tli^i|ue

Tlie original war brought to

Nationalr (MSS. Mexiroitis IS^ 4 *).

Eamje by Waldrck. who wild it to Aubin in the year 1^41 6»r tlio

mim «rf lOftft fmnro-

by Holiaii,' and rum* under :•

The murhor <rf tiro mle hit* Irnm ]MblUhiMt

"Je rernnnata awrir I’rilf a M. AtiKn on Mmwrit t’alendrmr.

apttiitan algtiaoM Kurta** <<c« ortam."


Till* itarrriptiu* 1 bate *jimi ml in ihe on^tnal

and in

full ;


Hum romme gritfe aur i-haqt»*

it Wright \.

It raahlwt u«, in fart, to rrcogniM.* rlUal H i» tbe brn-

nqifodimi*d TonalanMil erf thr dnlan ('ollrctaon thafi KitnHiii Um

Mur* hh oy»p.

But »t alio rfwat, wlwrt Boturint tun I la*5irr

deux miUe fnitto.

orar In mImict. that bo drnvnl hi* lumatr-dgr .if thr littwl calriidar

^ Mantmartro, Ir 24 tlctolwe

| *l"_Ve eil VwijJ. lb* dollar friijllra ; or UnfOWII elant tliunpir lie iron

frnillet d rw inaianl r'effnrer.

duo ue In jaiWut A M. All bin, (Miiur cortiArr la reimorati ion quo

j'nl faitn ea >o fuseur do co bran murernu. jmur la *ominr de

** (vignc) I>i* Waldrck.

hr Inrl ihi uwer cormi h|hm than

dr la vna of the real niraimig of fhU manuwni|i<

Aftrr ll»rurint‘» anvrt ami n^nirral Wk to S(«an, tlir pwriiHix

whlrh lm Uni UU« i*w«>ly Knwighl t agH hrr rmraiimri nl HM

in thr airliive* of the MvtvUrinl, ami war nftrraan]* tniM«-

•mlUrl iiNt

)«igrt will

br inodr iloar. tliat

frrml tin* KthUiiliva do la riiivrrddtad, and Utrr to tin- frvrrtaria

•lr Krfaito y KrUriiarm of I hr nrw n*|niNir of Mrtii«i.

We know

•hat U*nikM' of thU iHi||m*tiim, and hoar through negWf, thtnipn****.

1 IT* rw * » rprinl ; it dmild r-»d f^iut HI.

nnlabl«OM>ntp j de itrofftthi

* El dmih, 1* harii>l, Im aluwi j Am cuomm, lo aMimhiiwi

(J*»|iii* Owtii laifadoi*, Dirdamiio r*iitn*i 4* Huloni

M*x»cr Id3, Art A*to*Wh

CrMHiW«ic« <l« la* D«

l*u-l»a* <|«c na •rr'Uia dal ten m j-d- arto >j-ir m m* foruauA* m la Pha*


Art b«*r uf 0u* *reil krmwa I»o»nj.%un Hncmra


Principal 4a M iins a* kalhuMi *a alia «l aau da I TIC'."

* I lm MounkafttarAia Hitrfmclinfba AbzamWr r««a Unroll Mm iq i|it Kuuich?Wii IMi-.iit-lt Ml IWrhn KiImuut:* Or Kduard tWar lhrrl'0 IWS

* Lao.


I l<d.



p, .11.


paotaal copu qua Amt aaoir 4r el k la qaal aotdi laa Am

>|U' fd*«n *ru d Xt*ital



Catolegtxi raianao* ; il* la OdlaKNai >1* M. K. Eufvua GeopiL |Aaoi«iiM

rtalUcUm J. M

X, Aubin i.

Pari. IdPI. I. pi ***

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y. Itexriptioo © the


Tiro* i* Muted the rtrtwml of (1mm' winch on lit* neeihccitr

tl»** f iiw, that Anhiu h*d obtained this valuable

imtnuwrript from flu* toonli- of flu* Fnmri-nm i'nmv*m\ in Maxim,

in exchange tug it eo|*r i4 ihr “(imlii del rtMtuiMiHi,' |mblt*hrd


also rejiealrst «i

was slaying at the lime hi Pari*. lie had

several co|*e* of


Tonalataatl taken hy lithtigtapliic prtwas* at the Institution des Swards

Marts, when III* missing two first sheets were iepruduerd from those

rupjtlrd Inr leeui y irsitn. This repmdortian. in which the* Inst

liv l ump Ink. fin fit* «*!•> price

H |vmm.


fa««, lit* mum- Wall Irek

two sheets alone am printed in euhmr*, has been published in Vol. IV.

I* found »<iii u|-**il on several sheet* of tlur manuscript.

It in msuork-

of the ".Umles del Mumo Naetcnal dr Mexico." It was bv mean*

nble that


tbia certificate of the

sale ai»j the number uf slumt*

of this m)sruiiuctiu* that I was able to give the interpret** ion* that

i» wrongly given.

Tin* nurauM-rijA in folded. nut in 12. lx* if tit*

Wem |KiihlulinI tn the M <'can|de teiulu dr la 7* Session du t'oagres

uu|*uiNy| •larec hr includedin 19 wheel*.





infernal kmnl »k»» Amfricnnirtna t w Berlin lftAti.

The late K Kngene

whorls of n fold b* oiuiitul n> one, then we fit not

12 W only

(ioupil Iwviiig olAainrd by |iur<*hasM* tlw whole of the Aubin Collection

1ft sheets.

to keep it for France and the nmr having now been banded over

A with the ollirr documents in his comprehensive and vnlu*hi»

to the Port* National IjbvnrT. in orenrdance with the wislies of tlir

collection, Aubin made srarretr nov use of this ncijuiwltkm excel*

tlefum*. the ralnabir manuscript herewith {niblished

the Tounlamall

for private stodsm, the rewuhs of which lucre remained unpuhhwlud.

it thus also |irr*rrred fur ull time to

iiuinkimL a* far ns lim


Bat in the yew l&ul, nt the instance of 1>. Fernando Karruier, win#

human |f*ri«Ma to ik> o>.

2. Description of the Manuscript.

In its present state the n*um*-n|tf con wist* of n «4ri|» of native

l*t|irr |<rrpcred from the emrsr fibre df I lie agave plant, A22|* lc«g

«ml 23 J*- wide, fold'd together in 111 wheel* each 27 j®* long.


but iwmsM# *4 13 wrjKTate slip*


hIhhiA 30” king, which are jnrffd tegi'tlier, overlapping Mrh other




in one



the edge* a Njmre of mine A to HT 1 ,

The *iulare Mil oii lie*

outer and inner 4de titsde *< inxwth at is passable with tin* rough


fibre j and the |*g)nenf. whieli is wmrwhat thirkly afi|4ied, mi I terse


But flu* whole ra*nusrri|t bad already iveii

badly worm-eaten ia Hr* nriul'w time, »i i* seen from liks drscriptian.

to the



in aln>

incomplete, two

beginning, am we shall see.

|«dnle<i wheel-

lieing missing at



| tainting* cover

only tUe

inner nUU of the riiceU, and

gallon «nuh other from rujkl to Ufty k> that a coherent rrpri-*e*italli»a

is alwatw pre-woted an ann of the wheel* of the folded at rip.


tliH first

I no

sheets are nussing. tli«

JR |«inf«d wheels following

each other from right to left am numbered from 3 to 2(1.

kuA shcsA fanning the left end of th* stri|s and which should l»e


« Ao*l*» iW Mo**. Nowoil de Mtiuo*,' T«snw fit., p. 213.

eotkstvutirely nnmliered Vl, in unpointed,

we see written

in a somewhat


to the rough wiirfnre of the |«k|«rr. the legend 3

On thin lost bm)«iuted

cln»*v luwd, due, no dmiht,

Kaleiidarto Vd«latri<*u en Hi f. Nr. 23. Vw*.

tlse mdor*em-«l that

one mode at

the judicial regi*Aralmn of


Buturini Collection in MttxiOo *m Sejamilwr 2C, 1741


inner side* of the sheets 0, II, 13, 13, 17 show in a *j*cp left free

In the

|«i«iting. the Waldni

damp, tlm same also on the


side of wheat* fi and 3M>.

tin the outer


of sheet

9 is further

written in Ink : Nr. 123.

H mnji^ua 2 fruilit*.

And the outer

side of wbeM 2ft U wren n half obliterated



pmeik which

wax pcolwblv naadr hr Anbcn. and runs as follows ;

. TU




. la

IV mile a rappsirt au Moos IWaxliadmaUxtU


& la |)i finite dtt feu XiuhteuctH.



4 I. l**cri|*ion of th* Manuscript.

On the inner #ule of dvret 21 Uoopil ha* also made hi* entry

under tli* nolo of flir inventory

Nr. 1. apparteuant i H. Kag^it# iioupil litll.


A similar aniry occur* also cm (hr outer ride of sheet* 3, 5, 7,

10, 12, 13y 14, IA, 1*. 17, 1», \% 21

The substance of the

«l th* folding* having foe th* now

|wt fwn damaged by friction and wear, one of the owners |ff#»

Mimibly Anhui, hn« kej< th* maaibcrii>t together by gumming wide

gutnmr-d atrip an


should jjrofwrly occur *t this pikNv.

tin* loan *ide of *IkW 0 i» foukd written In ink

whkh g»v« the dal iiio

of Europmn ]a|*er M the back-


Ou the

tin* entry


but bad dimpisror-d (trough the damage .lam* to the >«q»»-r.

The jointings MMitld, «* 1* ommL in hint* outline, «i»ri flM

in vltli colour*, are dfcqawad oo nil tlie short* in precisely the mn* 1



An a|>prT and


lower half nav lie distinguished.


U|ijH-r the* left


ride It oeguyfad with n larger re juvsentaf ion, whib*

right njilr contain* four vertical raws which bill into mi equal

<t» tin* other hunt, tlic loner half uf the

number of enw* vrw,

hIiccI* remsta* of 4 ctws# row*, which full

the tetfwnl row of the upper lalf, dl»p«*rd rewiM<«-wtlvelj side by

into it vertical row*.


mIiI* firara left to right, resrrvsjiond tba enw* row* of the Low,-/ half

which follow on* another from top to bottom,

thi each •h>e*t tb*

representations begin in the to)M»i»t non (aur meat of th* \eri io»l


duvet ion. bat

Tlie method of >equ*»<v

u ihm by the ciphers, which in the fourth

upper half aid the fourth crow row of tire lower half ex|*>*«* the

row of the

half in th* directkm frotn right

of the upper half.


throe they follow in the downward

are then continued