Can You Decipher a Tonalpohualli?

Mariana Castillo Deball, who was the Fall 2018 Tinker Visiting Professor in the Department of Visual Arts, explores representations of cultures through material artifacts. The tōnalpōhualli was the central artifact explored in Deball’s solo exhibition at the Logan Center Gallery, Petlacoatl, on view November 16, 2018 to January 13, 2019.

The Aztec had two calendars: the 365-day Xiuhpōhualli (“year count”) and the 260-day Tōnalpōhualli (“day count”); together, the calendars marked a 52-year “century.” The Tōnalpōhualli uses a combination of 20 day signs and 13 numbers to tell the date. In this calendar, a week is 13 days, at which point the coefficient starts over; thus, the first week of the year is 1 Caiman to 13 Reed; the next week is 1 Jaguar to 13 Death.

What are the fourth, eighth, and sixteenth weeks of the year (answers below)?

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