Huehue Zaca

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Huehue Zaca

Tlatoani   Moctezuma I
Cihuacoatl   Tlacaelels

Father Huitzilihuitl
Mother Miyahuaxochtzin
Children Tzontemoc

Huehue Zaca or Çaca (Nahuatl pronunciation: [ˈweːweʔ ˈsaka]), also Zacatzin (Çacatzin, [saˈkatsiːn]), was a 15th-century Aztec noble, prince and a warrior who served as tlacateccatl ("captain general"[1]) under the ruler Moctezuma I, his brother.[2] The name of Zaca is probably derived from Nahuatl zacatl, meaning "grass"; -tzin is an honorific or reverential suffix. Huehue is Nahuatl for "the elder", literally "old man".


Zaca was the fourth child of Emperor Huitzilihuitl.[3] His mother was Princess Miyahuaxochtzin, the daughter of Tlacacuitlahuatzin, ruler of Tiliuhcan.[4] He was the younger half-brother of Emperors Chimalpopoca and Moctezuma I. His other brother was prince Tlacaelel.

Moctezuma is said to have had Zaca executed for singing and beating his drum loudly.[5]

Zaca had two sons: Tzontemoc, who served as tlacateccatl under Moctezuma's successors Axayacatl and Tizoc;[5] and Huitzilatzin, who was installed by Axayacatl as the first ruler of Huitzilopochco[5] (now known as Churubusco), a city near Chalco whose inhabitants are said to have been cannibals prior to the imposition of Aztec government.[5][6] A descendant of Zaca through his son Huitzilatzin, Hernando Huehue Cetochtzin, was taken along with many other indigenous nobles (notably Cuauhtemoc) on conquistador Hernán Cortés's expedition to Honduras (Huey Mollan), during which he died.[7]


  1. ^ Chimalpahin (1997): pp. 50–51
  2. ^ Chimalpahin (1997): vol. 1, pp. 146–147 and vol. 2, pp. 94–95.
  3. ^ Chimalpahin (1997): vol. 1, pp. 122–123.
  4. ^ Chimalpahin (1997): vol. 1, pp. 118–119 and vol. 2, pp. 94–95.
  5. ^ a b c d Chimalpahin (1997): vol. 1, pp. 146–149 and vol. 2, pp. 94–95. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "b" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  6. ^ Isaac (2005): pp. 5–6.
  7. ^ Chimalpahin (1997): vol. 1, pp. 148–149.


  • Chimalpahin Cuauhtlehuanitzin, Domingo Francisco de San Antón Muñón (1997). Codex Chimalpahin: society and politics in Mexico Tenochtitlan, Tlatelolco, Texcoco, Culhuacan, and other Nahua altepetl in central Mexico: the Nahuatl and Spanish annals and accounts collected and recorded by don Domingo de San Antón Muñón Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin. The Civilization of the American Indian Series. edited and translated by Arthur J. O. Anderson and Susan Schroeder. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-2921-2. 
  • Isaac, Barry L. (2005). "Aztec Cannibalism: Nahua versus Spanish and mestizo accounts in the Valley of Mexico". Ancient Mesoamerica. 16 (01): 1–10. doi:10.1017/S0956536105050030.