busaikko (busaikko) wrote in little_details,

Nahuatl place names, Aztec ship-building and exploration

Era, Location: 1500s Aztec empire post contact with the Spanish (AU and not historical)
Googled terms: Aztec + ship-building, maritime history, naval history, ships, transportation, etc.; various online Nahuatl dictionaries and language essays

1) In my story, an Aztec ship explores up the coast of N. America; I am pretty sure the Aztec never built ships, but would like that confirmed (suggestions for search terms much appreciated).

2) The Aztec settlement in my story has four main locations which need names. I would like *not* to use real place-names, but I would like them to be gramatically correct (in modern Nahuatl is fine) and not too precious. The names I am considering are: Ayoaatlan ('river place'), Xochiyan ('conch-shell place'), Pistican or Pistemec ('black place', 'black hills' - hopefully implying north), and Achtonco or Achtopan ('first [landing] place'). As I only speak English and Japanese, if any of these are rude in any other language, please let me know *does not want to be rude*
Tags: 1500-1599, mexico: history, ~boats and other things that float, ~languages: nahuatl, ~native americans

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