Read the chart below, it is mind blowing!
|Hernan Cortés as he appeared in his shining armor|
On November 8, 1519, Hernando Cortés was received
by Moctezuma II in the city of Tenochtitlán.
|Statue of La Malinche|
La Malinche's parents were nobles, however, after beginning her life living a privileged childhood, tragically, her father died. Her mother then married her father's brother. They soon had a son and La Malinche was was claimed as dead, disinherited and sold into slavery. Talk about a Cinderella story!
When Cortés arrived in Mexico, La Malinche was one of twenty female slaves given to the Spaniards by a Mayan Lord along with other gifts of an Aztec calendar, gold, jewels, pelts and feathers. At that time La Malinche was 16 and very capable of distinguishing herself with her beauty, grace and education. She immediately became Cortés' personal translator, negotiator and cultural mediator and then became his mistress. She gave birth to his first born son, Martin Cortés. La Malinche was in the forefront of written Mexican history. Cortés and La Malinche's son Martin was the first documented child of European and indigenous American ancestry, a Meztizo. Therefore La Malinche has been deemed the mother of the Mestizos, literally and metaphorically.
|Monument of Cortes, La Malinche, and their son, Martin in Coyoacan|
|The Mexican artist Antonio Ruíz’s|
Surrealist Painting “The Dream of Malinche,”
Art Mimics LifeIn Theatrical Productions - La Malinche is sometimes portrayed as a victim of conquest, and sometimes the cause of her own destiny, but almost always, she is guilty. If she was indeed violated, it was because she didn't struggle enough. If she was a willing participant, she not only brought her own troubles, but she caused her child and all of her people to suffer.
In Art - La Malinche is represents women's innate deception and guilt, using her beauty and sexuality to gain power and in so doing so, very much in need of punishment.
In Dance - The dichotomy persists. In "La Malinche," a ballet composed in 1949, she is at first an unwilling victim, then assumes the proud deportment of an aristocrat, and in the end, weighted down by the finery she wears. She then gives birth to the Mestizo child who then rejects her.
In Literature - La Malinche has been compared to Eve, the temptress who through deception, leads men astray. Malinchismo represents one end of the spectrum of stereotypes of women while the Virgin of Guadalupe resides at the opposite end of the stereotypical spectrum.
|Painting of La Malinche and Hernando Cortés|
See how much more interesting history lessons are when you have a woman injecting romance into the story? I'm not the only one. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Chicana writers, artists, and activists began to examine the story of La Malinche. They discovered neither victim nor traitor but the strength of a survivor. This is a story I can relate to. La Malinche did not choose her destiny, but neither did she crumble in the face of adversity. I've explored her fate and her abilities to negotiate difficult cultural demands. Much more difficult than my own, yet helping me to understand the ongoing struggle for personal and world wide cultural power.
|La Malinche learned to wear the finest clothes and jewels|
.... And the plot thickens...... As the story goes Cortés, La Malinche and their son Martin lived in the house pictured above in Coyoacán, Mexico. La Malinche learned to wear the finest clothes and jewels, living a storybook life for a time.... however.... Cortés had a wife in Cuba, Catalina Mercada Suarez who arrived in Mexico in 1522. She mysteriously died in this house. Some say Cortés had her killed her for the love of La Malinche.
So there is your history lesson for the day. I am still scrambling through 500 years of ancestors who married into each others families over and over and over so I am not sure that the lineage below is absolutely correct. I am sure there will be corrections but it has been an interesting journey of discovery and there will be updates to follow. Moctezuma's daughter, Isabel, the last empress of Mexico, also had a daughter out of wedlock by Cortés. It is extremely difficult to characterize Cortés however, he gets points for leaving his many children well cared for in his will, along with every one of their mothers.
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Listen to: The story of La Malinche