Names were just as important and meaningful for ancient Mesoamericans as they are for us today. However, the way you received your name would vary from culture to culture. In this blog post you will learn how to calculate your name the way the Mixtec would.
(Don’t remember where the Mixtec lived? Click here for a brief explanation.)
The Mixtec manuscripts from the Postclassic period show us how people in that culture got their name: it was their birthday! The day that you were born had a huge influence on what your life would look like: recommended careers, personality traits, and when and whom you should marry. Therefore, people were named according to the day they were born in the 260-day calendar. Some changed their names or added new names onto their calendar name as they accomplished great things, but their calendar name always remained an important part of their identity.
A great example of this is Lady 6 Monkey, pictured above. She was born on the day 6 Monkey and carried that name for the first part of her life. However, after a significant victory in war, she added the name “Serpent Quechquemitl” as well. A quechquemitl is a triangular top worn by women in Central Mexico during this period. If you look at the picture above, you can see both her calendar name “6 Monkey” as well as a serpent on her quechquemitl, representing her new name.
I’ve explained in other blog posts how the Mesoamerican calendar system works. If you go the azteccalendar.com (also listed in the blog post above), and enter your birthday, it will give you your birthday in the Aztec calendar. Although the Aztec and Mixtec lived in different places, they used the same calendar system. Once you have that date, you know what your name would be in the Mixtec culture!
Also on that page, you can read a prognostication of what your life would be like based on the day you were born. Take a look- what does yours say?