cacahuatl.

Headword: 
cacahuatl.
Principal English Translation: 

cacao bean(s), also known as cocoa beans (see Molina); and by extension, other small, hard round things such as beans, nuts, and eggs; cacao beans also served as money; the word cacahuatl additionally refers to the cacao plant(s)

Orthographic Variants: 
cacavatl, cacaoatl, cacáhoatl, cacavateros
IPAspelling: 
kɑkɑwɑtɬ
Alonso de Molina: 

cacauatl. grano de cacao. Alonso de Molina, Vocabulario en lengua castellana y mexicana y mexicana y castellana, 1571, part 2, Nahuatl to Spanish, f. 10v. col. 2. Thanks to Joe Campbell for providing the transcription.

Frances Karttunen: 

CACAHUA-TL cacao, chocolate bean; shell, hard outer covering / grano de cacao (M) In Nahuatl the word for the ‘peanut’ is specifically TLĀLCACAHUA-TL> TLĀL-LI ‘earth,’ CACAHUA-TL. Frances Karttunen, An Analytical Dictionary of Nahuatl (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1992), 18.

Attestations from sources in English: 

auh yoan no muchioaia in cacaoatl, in xochicacaoatl, vel mieccan, icaca in cacaoatl catca = And also chocolate—xochicacauatl—was made. In very many places there was chocolate (central Mexico, sixteenth century) Fr. Bernardino de Sahagún, Florentine Codex: General History of the Things of New Spain; Book 3 -- The Origin of the Gods, Part IV, eds. and transl. Arthur J. O. Anderson and Charles E. Dibble (Santa Fe and Salt Lake City: School of American Research and the University of Utah, 1978), 14. atle çe melio çe cacahuatl, ic quicnelia in iyolia = With not one coin of little value, with not one cacao bean, does he favor his soul. Bartolomé de Alva, A Guide to Confession Large and Small in the Mexican Language, 1634, eds. Barry D. Sell and John Frederick Schwaller, with Lu Ann Homza (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999), 121. Nonqua onoca in qujnamaca cacaoatl, vej nacaztli, tlilxochitl = Separate were those who sold chocolate, aromatic herbs, and vanilla (central Mexico, sixteenth century) Fr. Bernardino de Sahagún, Florentine Codex: General History of the Things of New Spain; Book 8 -- Kings and Lords, no. 14, Part IX, eds. and transl. Arthur J. O. Anderson and Charles E. Dibble (Santa Fe and Salt Lake City: School of American Research and the University of Utah, 1951), 67. injc motecaia cacaoatl, tecontlacujlolli, atzaccaiotl tlacujlolli, aquaujtl aiotectli tlacujlolli, poctecomatl anaoacaiotl, atzaccaiotl aiotectli, aiaoalli oçeloeoatl, cuetlaxaiaoalli, chitatli in vncan mopia tecomatl, atzetzeloaztli, injc moiectia cacaoatl, = The chocolate was served in a painted gourd vessel, with a stopper also painted with a design, and [having] a beater; or in a painted gourd, smoky [in color], from neighboring lands, with a gourd stopper, and a jar rest of ocelot skin or of cured leather. In a small net were kept the earthen jars, the strainer with which was purified the chocolate, a large earthen jar for making the chocolate (central Mexico, sixteenth century) Fr. Bernardino de Sahagún, Florentine Codex: General History of the Things of New Spain; Book 8 -- Kings and Lords, no. 14, Part IX, eds. and transl. Arthur J. O. Anderson and Charles E. Dibble (Santa Fe and Salt Lake City: School of American Research and the University of Utah, 1951), 40. Niman moteca in jcalitic: iecauj in jcacaoauh, xoxouhquj cacaoaçintli, quauhnecujo cacaoatl, xochiocacaoatl, xoxouhquj tlilxochio, chichiltic cacaoatl, vitztecolcacaoatl, xochipalcacaoatl, tiltic cacaoatl, iztec cacaoatl = Then, in his house, the ruler was served his chocolate, with which he finished [his repast]—green, made of tender cacao; honeyed chocolate made with ground-up dried flowers—with green vanilla pods; bright red chocolate; orange-colored chocolate, rose-colored chocolate; black chocolate; white chocolate. (central Mexico, sixteenth century) Fr. Bernardino de Sahagún, Florentine Codex: General History of the Things of New Spain; Book 8—Kings and Lords, no. 14, Part IX, eds. and transl. Arthur J. O. Anderson and Charles E. Dibble (Santa Fe and Salt Lake City: School of American Research and the University of Utah, 1951), 39. in cacaoanamacac, cacaoaoa, cacaoamile, cacaoaquaue, anoço oztomecatl, tlaotlatoctiani, tlanênemiti, anoço tlanecuilo, tlacemanqui = The cacao seller [is] a cacao owner, an owner of cacao fields, an owner of cacao trees; or an importer, a traveler with merchandise, a traveler or retailer who sells in single lots. (central Mexico, sixteenth century) Fr. Bernardino de Sahagún, Florentine Codex: General History of the Things of New Spain; Book 10 -- The People, No. 14, Part 11, eds. and transl. Arthur J. O. Anderson and Charles E. Dibble (Santa Fe and Salt Lake City: School of American Research and the University of Utah, 1961), 65. "The cacahoaquáhuitl is a tree about the size of a citron tree, and with similar leaves, except that these are larger and wider, with oblong fruit that looks like a large melon, but striped and red, called cacahoacentli, which contains the seed, cacáhoatl, which as we said, serves for money among the Mexicans and makes a very pleasant drink." (central Mexico, 1571–1615) The Mexican Treasury: The Writings of Dr. Francisco Hernández, ed. Simon Varey, transl. Rafael Chabrán, Cynthia L. Chamberlin, and Simon Varey (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000), 108. Yn ce tomin matlacpualli cacavatl ipatihv yn tomaoac in patzavac cacavatl matlacpualli ipan cenpualtetl onmatlactli = One tomín is worth 200 full cacao beans, or 230 shrunken cacao beans (Tlaxcala, 1545) Beyond the Codices, eds. Arthur J.O. Anderson, Frances Berdan, and James Lockhart (Los Angeles: UCLA Latin American Center, 1976), Doc. 34, 210–211. ypanpa yc cenca notech cuallani amo honicnechico y cacahuatl = Because he became so angry with me about it, I have not (been able) to gather the cacao (Soconusco, 1565) Beyond the Codices, eds. Arthur J.O. Anderson, Frances Berdan, and James Lockhart (Los Angeles: UCLA Latin American Center, 1976), Doc. 30, 192–193. oncan otlacat Nicolas de çuñiga ompa quipia yncacahuamil = whence was born Nicolás de Zúñiga, who keeps their cacao fields. (central Mexico, early seventeenth century) Codex Chimalpahin: Society and Politics in Mexico Tenochtitlan, Tlatelolco, Culhuacan, and Other Nahuatl Altepetl in Central Mexico; The Nahuatl and Spanish Annals and Accounts Collected and Recorded by don Domingo de San Antón Muñón Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin, eds. and transl. Arthur J. O. Anderson and Susan Schroeder (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997), vol. 1, 140–141. y nepahpan chalchihuitl. yn tlaçotetl. yn teocuitlatl. yn quetzalli. ȳ nepahpan tlaçoyhuitl. yn tlapapalcacahuatl = various green stones, precious stones, gold, precious quetzal feathers, diverse precious feathers, varicolored chocolate (central Mexico, early seventeenth century) Codex Chimalpahin: Society and Politics in Mexico Tenochtitlan, Tlatelolco, Culhuacan, and Other Nahuatl Altepetl in Central Mexico; The Nahuatl and Spanish Annals and Accounts Collected and Recorded by don Domingo de San Antón Muñón Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin, eds. and transl. Arthur J. O. Anderson and Susan Schroeder (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997), vol. 1, 80–81. hatlei y nemapupoloni atlei totoli atlei totoltetl cacavatl y tlaoli atlei = No hand towels, no turkeys, no turkey eggs, cacao or shelled maize (Cuernavaca region, ca. 1540s) The Book of Tributes: Early Sixteenth-Century Nahuatl Censuses from Morelos, ed. and transl. S. L. Cline, (Los Angeles: UCLA Latin American Center Publications, 1993), 122–123. ca iuhqui. ce cacahuatl momatia ce tomin = a real was considered no more than a cacao bean (central Mexico, early seventeenth century) Annals of His Time: Don Domingo de San Antón Muñón Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin, James Lockhart, Susan Schroeder, and Doris Namala, eds. and transl. (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006), 50–51. cacavatl maviztic = marvelous cacao (central Mexico, sixteenth century) Fray Bernardino de Sahagún, Primeros Memoriales, ed. Thelma D. Sullivan, et al. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997), 210. auh çan no iuhqui, in ixquich, yn izquican icac in cacavatl ca intonal in tlatoqz = and similarly all the places where there was cacao were the rightful due of the rulers (central Mexico, sixteenth century) Fray Bernardino de Sahagún, Primeros Memoriales, ed. Thelma D. Sullivan, et al. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997), 224. gabriel maldo oquimocohui tzohuacalli tlacuilloli çenpohualtetl ypan v tetl cacahuatl = Gabriel Maldonado bought a painted headboard(?) for 25 cacao beans. (Culhuacan, sixteenth century) Testaments of Culhuacan (provisionally modified first edition), eds. Sarah Cline and Miguel León-Portilla, online version http://www.history.ucsb.edu/cline/testaments_of_culhuacan.pdf, 14. Yollotl, eztli. Inin tlatolli, itechpa mitoaya in cacaoatl: yehica ca tlazotli catca, acan necia in ye uecauh: amo quia in maceoaltzintli, in icnotlacatl: ipampa in mitoaya: yollotli, eztli, imacaxoni: auh no itechpa mitoaya, ca mixitl, ca tlapatl, ca iuhqui nanacatl ipan momati: ca teiuinti, ca texocomicti: in aquin quiia: intla maceoalli: cenca tetzammachoya: auh zan in quia ye uecauh: yehoatl in tlatoani, anozo in uei tiacauh, anozo tlacateccatl, tlacochcalcatl, in azo ome, azo ei cacitinemi, yehoan quiia: zan no uey necia, ca zan tlapoalli in cacaoatl quiia: ca amo zan iliuiz in miia. = Heart and blood. These words were said of chocolate because in the past it was precious and rare. The common people and the poor did not drink it. For this reason it was said: Heart and blood, worthy of veneration. They also said it was deranging and it was thought to be like the mushroom, for it intoxicated people, it made them drunk. If a commoner drank it, it was considered scandalous. In the past only the rulers or great warriors, or the Commander of the Army, or the Commander of the Arsenal, and perhaps two or three people who were rich drank it; it was considered something grand. They drank chocolate in small amounts, it was not drunk immoderately. (central Mexico, sixteenth century) Thelma D. Sullivan, "Nahuatl Proverbs, Conundrums, and Metaphors, Collected by Sahagún," Estudios de Cultura Náhuatl 4 (1963), 168–169. Tlaquetzalnamacac, atlaquetzalnamacac, tecini, teatlitiani, teihiiocuitiani, cacaoateci, tlaxamania, tlapaiana, tlacuechoa tlatzontequi, tlacentlaca, tlacenquixtia, aciaoa, tlaciaoa, tlaapachoa, tlaamauhtia, tlaaiçauia, tlaacana, tlatzetzeloa, tlaatzetzeloazuia, aquetza, tlaacana, tlatzotzontlalia, tlapopoçonallalia, tlatzotzoncui, tlatetzaoacaquetza, tlatetzaoacaacana, tlaaquechia, tlaatecuinia = The seller of fine chocolate. The seller of fine chocolate [is] one who grinds, who provides people with drink, with repasts. She grinds cacao [beans]; she crushes, breaks, pulverizes them. She chooses, selects [read tlacentlaça], separates them. She drenches, soaks, steeps, them. She adds water sparingly, conservatively; aerates it, filters it, strains it, pours it back and forth, aerates it; she makes it form a head, makes it foam; she removes the head, makes it thicken, makes it dry, pours water in, stirs water into it. (sixteenth-century, central Mexico) Fr. Bernardino de Sahagún, Florentine Codex: General History of the Things of New Spain; Book 10 -- The People, No. 14, Part 11, eds. and transl. Arthur J. O. Anderson and Charles E. Dibble (Santa Fe and Salt Lake City: School of American Research and the University of Utah, 1961), 93. Niman ie ic tamaloa, cacaoatexo, muchichioa in molli = Then tamales were prepared, chocolate was ground, sauces were prepared (central Mexico, sixteenth century) Fr. Bernardino de Sahagún, Florentine Codex: General History of the Things of New Spain; Book 6 -- Rhetoric and Moral Philosophy, No. 14, Part 7, eds. and transl. Arthur J. O. Anderson and Charles E. Dibble (Santa Fe and Salt Lake City: School of American Research and the University of Utah, 1961), 127. yn tlalli tlacopantl ypan icac cacahuatl (a parcel [measuring] half a pantli upon which stands cacao?) (Tulancingo, November 3, 1687) James Lockhart collection, notes in the file "Land and Economy." For this example he cites the Tulancingo Collection in Special Collections at UCLA's research library, Folder 14. English translation proposed by Stephanie Wood. ynin cofradia yehuantin oquitlallique yn cacahuanamacaque cacavateros españoles = This cofradia was established by the Spanish sellers of cacao (central Mexico, 1614) Annals of His Time: Don Domingo de San Antón Muñón Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin, James Lockhart, Susan Schroeder, and Doris Namala, eds. and transl. (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006), 272–3. nauchtecpan [sic] tlamamatli xochicacauatl = four hundred cargas de cacao; macuiltecpantli mamalli cacauatl = five fardos de cacao, where a fardo is a bale of goods, a bundle, a package; centecpac tlamamalli cacahuatl = one carga de cacao Actas del Congreso Internacional de Americanistas, v. 11 (1897), 52–53.auh no inpan nez, in tlaçotilmatli, in cenca mauiztic, tlapalecacozcaio, ioan xomoihuitilmatli, ioan hihuitica tetecomaio tilmatl ioan mauiztic mastlatl, tlamachio in iiac, uel iacauiac in imastlaiacaio: ioã tlamachcueitl, tlamachuipilli, ioan chicuematl tilmatli, iacatziuhqui, ioan cacaoatl = And also in their time appeared costly capes — the wonderful red ones, with the wind jewel design; and white duck feather capes; and capes with cup-shaped designs in feathers; and wonderful breech clouts with embroidered ends — with long ends at the extremities of the breech clouts; and embroidered skirts [and] shifts; and capes eight fathoms long, of twisted weave; and chocolate. (16th century, Mexico City)
Fray Bernardino de Sahagún, Florentine Codex, Book 9—The Merchants, trans. Charles E. Dubble and Arthur J.O. Anderson (Santa Fe, New Mexico; The School of American Research and the University of Utah, 1959), 2.

auh no inpan nez, in tlaçotilmatli, in cenca mauiztic, tlapalecacozcaio, ioan xomoihuitilmatli, ioan hihuitica tetecomaio tilmatl ioan mauiztic mastlatl, tlamachio in iiac, uel iacauiac in imastlaiacaio: ioã tlamachcueitl, tlamachuipilli, ioan chicuematl tilmatli, iacatziuhqui, ioan cacaoatl = And also in their time appeared costly capes — the wonderful red ones, with the wind jewel design; and white duck feather capes; and capes with cup-shaped designs in feathers; and wonderful breech clouts with embroidered ends — with long ends at the extremities of the breech clouts; and embroidered skirts [and] shifts; and capes eight fathoms long, of twisted weave; and chocolate. (sixteenth century, Mexico City)
Fray Bernardino de Sahagún, Florentine Codex, Book 9—The Merchants, trans. Charles E. Dubble and Arthur J.O. Anderson (Santa Fe, New Mexico; The School of American Research and the University of Utah, 1959), 2.

Attestations from sources in Spanish: 

Yvan in ҫaҫov aquin teylpiloyan tlaliloz ompovali cacavatl yc tlaxtlavaz matlactetl ytech poviz yn topille in teanani auh macuiltetl ytech poviz yn teilpi yn alcayde chicuetetl ytech poviz yn tlacuilo yn scrivano nauhtetl ytech poviz yn tecpoyotl auh yn occequi ҫan mopiyaz yntech poviz yn teilpiloyan motolinique ynic amo ypampa tlatlaytlanoz tiyanquizco ca ympampa tetlaytlanililo = Y cualquiera que sea puesto en la cárcel pagará cuarenta cacaos. Diez corresponderán al topile, al que toma al preso; cinco corresponderán al alcaide; ocho corresponderán al escribano; cuatro al pregonero y los demás se guardarán, corresponderán a los pobres de la cárcel, para que no se haga colecta para ellos en el mercado, ya que por ellos se hace tal colecta (Cuauhtinchan, Puebla, s. XVI) Luis Reyes García, "Ordenanzas para el gobierno de Cuauhtinchan, año de 1559," Estudios de Cultura Náhuatl 10 (1972), 272–273. atle çe melio çe cacahuatl, ic quicnelia in iyolia = no dá a su alma ni vna blanca ni vn marauedi Bartolomé de Alva, A Guide to Confession Large and Small in the Mexican Language, 1634, eds. Barry D. Sell and John Frederick Schwaller, with Lu Ann Homza (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999), 120–121. michcaotl cacahuatecotin chiquacentetl = seis tecomates grandes hondos (Amecameca, 1625) Vidas y bienes olvidados: Testamentos en náhuatl y castellano del siglo XVII, vol. 3, Teresa Rojas Rabiela, et al, eds. (México: CIESAS, 2002), 168–169. ome tomintica cacahuatzintli = les dejo dos reales de cacaguacinte (Toluca, 1621) Vidas y bienes olvidados: Testamentos en náhuatl y castellano del siglo XVII, vol. 3, Teresa Rojas Rabiela, et al, eds. (México: CIESAS, 2002), 132–133. Yn tecomatl centecpantli yoan aquahuitl chicome ynin mochi quipiaz yn nonantcin yoan ontetl caxa centetl oncan mopia yn tecomatl centetl = Y veinte tecomates en que beben cacao, y siete mecedores, esto todo guarde mi madre; y dos cajas, la una en que se guardan los dichos tecomates (Xochimilco, 1572) Vidas y bienes olvidados: Testamentos indígenas novohispanos, vol. 2, Testamentos en náhuatl y castellano del siglo XVI, eds., Teresa Rojas Rabiela, Elsa Leticia Rea López, Constantino Medina Lima (Mexico: Consejo Nacional de Ciencias Tecnología, 1999), 160–161. cacauat oconi = cacao para tomar Nuestro pesar, nuestra aflicción / tunetuliniliz, tucucuca; Memorias en lengua náhuatl enviadas a Felipe II por indígenas del Valle de Guatemala hacia 1572, introduction by Cristopher H. Lutz, paleography and translation by Karen Dakin (México: UNAM and Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamérica, 1996, 52–53. yban çempovalli tlamamalli quabitl çecemilvitl movica çibdad tianquizco cempovalli ompovalli cacavatl momaca çe tlamamal = Y cada día llevamos veinte cargas de leña a la ciudad, al mercado, y pagan cada carga con veinte o cuarenta granos de cacao Nuestro pesar, nuestra aflicción / tunetuliniliz, tucucuca; Memorias en lengua náhuatl enviadas a Felipe II por indígenas del Valle de Guatemala hacia 1572, introduction by Cristopher H. Lutz, paleography and translation by Karen Dakin (México: UNAM and Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamérica, 1996, 32–33.