Matrícula de Tributos


The Matrícula de Tributos (‘Register of Tribute’) consists of 16 sheets (‘folios’) of paper made from the bark of the amate tree. Although some of the early folios are heavily damaged, whole sheets measure 29 × 42 centimeters. These pieces of amatl paper were originally painted on only one side, and probably date to before the conquest of Tenochtitlán. Sometime in the colonial period, however, these separate one-sided sheets were glued together. This created the document which exists today, in which each folio has images on the front and the back.

The Matrícula records the geographical extent of the Aztec tribute empire. The first pages show fortified frontier garrisons. The remaining pages’“the majority of the document’“focus on different tribute provinces. Their images depict the place signs of towns from which the Aztecs demanded tribute, and list the tribute items (feathers, warrior costumes, jaguar skins) that were supposedly sent every 80 days to Tenochtitlán.

In addition to the original pictorial glyphs, the Matrícula is also covered with later alphabetic captions. Some, added in the sixteenth century, are in Nahuatl (N). Others, added in the eighteenth century, are in Spanish (E). The Matrícula de Tributos is currently in the National Library of Anthropology in Mexico City. For more information, see the Introduction to the Matrícula de Tributos Nahua tutorial.

c. 1519


29 cm x 42 cm sheets

  • [3r.1] [The Tribute Province of Acolman:] Acolman Place of the Acolhua
  • [3r.2] Huitzilan Place of Hummingbirds
  • [3r.3] Totoltzinco On the Small Turkeys
  • [3r.4] Tlachyahualco In the Circle of the Ballcourt
  • [3r.5] Tepechpan On the Large Rock
  • [3r.6] Aztaquemeca Place of the White Heron Feather Capes
  • [5.7] Teacalco On the Stone Canoe
  • [3r.8] Tonanitla Place of Tonantzin [a goddess]
  • [3r.9] Cempoalan Place of Twenty
  • [3r.10] Tepetlaoztoc In the Lava Cave
  • [3r.11] Ahuatepec On the Hill of the Oak Tree
  • [3r.12] Tizatepec On the Hill of Chalk
  • [3r.13] Contlan Place of Pots
  • [3r.14] Ixquemecan Place of the Maguey-Fiber Capes
  • [3r.15] Matixco In the Place of Escape
  • [3r.16] Temazcalapan On the Sweatbaths
  • [3r.17] Tiçayucan Place Full of Chalk
  • [3r.18] Tepetlapan On the Basalt
  • [3r.19] Calyahualco In the Circle of Houses
  • [3r.20] Tezoyuca Place Full of Black Pumice
  • [3r.21] Tlaquipan On the Polisher
  • [3r.22] Quauhquemecan Place of the Eagle-Feather Cape
  • [3r.23] Epazoyucan Place Full of Epazote [an herb]
  • [3r.24] Ameyalco On the Spring
  • [3r.25] Quauhyocan Place Full of Trees
  • [3r.26] Ecatepec On the Hill of the Wind
  • [3r.27] 400 bundles of red, bordered capes
  • [3r.28] 400 bundles of diagonally divided capes
  • [3r.29] 400 bundles of quilted capes
  • [3r.30] 400 bundles of white capes
  • [3r.31] 400 bundles of white capes
  • [3r.32] 400 bundles of white capes
  • [3r.33] 400 bundles of white capes
  • [3r.34] 400 bundles of white capes
  • [3r.35] 400 bundles of loincloths
  • [3r.36] 400 bundles of huipiles
  • [3r.37] 20 yellow Canid Deity warrior costumes and Twisted Gourd shields
  • [3r.38] 20 yellow Star Demon warrior costumes and Huaxtec Nose Ornament shields
  • [3r.39] 1 yellow Jaguar warrior costume and Huaxtec Nose Ornament shield
  • [3r.40] 20 yellow Huaxtec warrior costumes and Huaxtec Nose Ornament shields
  • [3r.41] 20 red Quetzal Feather warrior costumes and Huaxtec Nose Ornament shields
  • [3r.42] 20 red and white Butterfly warrior costumes and Eagle’s Foot shields
  • [3r.43] 20 yellow Claw warrior costumes and Huaxtec Nose Ornament shields
  • [3r.44] 20 yellow Coyote warrior costumes and Huaxtec Nose Ornament shields
  • [3r.45] 1 bin of maize and beans
  • [3r.N1] Acolmecatl
  • [3r.N2] Auh in Acolmecatl in itequiuh nappoualtica yn quicalla quiaya in tilmatl yn maxtlatl in huipilli yn quachtli [And the tribute from Acolmecatl was providing every 80 days capes, loincloths, huipils, and large capes]
  • [3r.N3] cempoala
  • [3r.N4] ahuatepec
  • [3r.N5] ixquimeca
  • [3r.N6] inin mochi tlahuiztli ce xiuhtica yn quicallaquiaya in acolmecatl [The Acomecatl delivered these costumes every year]
  • [3r.E1] la insignia de Acolman [The sign of Acolman]
  • [3r.E2] La que pagaban los de acolman cada año de Tilmas, Bragas [taparrabos], Huipiles, vestidas de muger, y Mantas [That which those of Acolman paid every year in cloaks, loincloths, huipils, women’s clothing, and capes]
  • [3r.E3] Zempoa
  • [3r.E4] Ahuate
  • [3r.E5] ixquimeca
  • [3r.E6] toda esto era el tributo que pagaban los de Acolman [All this was the tribute which those of Acolman paid]