Ah! @kelbesque asks: "Is the "tamal" of "tamales" related to "nixtamalization"?
The answer is.. probably!
The nahuatl word for tamal is "tamalli" meaning "wrapped food". While the 'tamal' in nixtamalization is also 'tamalli' here it seems to mean "uncooked corn (dough)".
They are related and both extremely important to the culture, but given the destruction of history and that we don't especially know which came first, its hard to really give a definite answer of which came first.