You are on page 1of 22

MALINCHE

LAURA ESQUIVEL
(MEXICO)
• Nahuatl- Spoken language, known historically as Aztec, is a language or group of languages of the Uto-
Aztecan language family. Varieties of Nahuatl are spoken by about 1.7 million Nahua peoples, most of
whom live in central Mexico. Nahuatl has been spoken in central Mexico since at least the seventh
century CE. Wikipedia
• Aztec- A member of a people of central Mexico whose civilization was at its height at the time of the
Spanish conquest in the early 16th century.

• Ometeotl- an Aztec god, was thought of as being simultaneously male and female, with the names
Ometecuhtli and Omecihuatl. ... They represented the creative energy or essence from which the power
of all other gods flowed.

• enthusiastically - in a way that shows intense and eager enjoyment, interest, or approval.
• engender - cause or give rise to (a feeling, situation, or condition)
THE SPANISH
COLONIZATION
IN MEXICO
Spain’s purposes to colonize Mexico and the other colonies were getting new land,
resources, and to spread Christianity. As they conquered Mexico, they got new land.
Spain plundered lots of resources from their colonies, opened up trade and get profits
and spread Christianity.

HOW DID MEXICO BECOME A COLONY OF SPAIN?


The Aztecs in Mexico outnumbered the Spanish. There were millions of Aztecs and only a
few hundred Spaniards. How was it then that the Spaniards, even with their steel and
guns, could overrun them? The non-native diseases, such as microbes. Smallpox,
influenza, mumps, measles and a literal host of other diseases, were introduced, and the
natives didn't have any resistance to deseases. Therefore, the disease decimated the
native population of America. Also, Spanish conquistadors, Hernan Cortes and his soldier,
allied with Tlaxcallan tribes to conquer the Aztecs. With this non-native diseases and
alliance, which had guns and horses, Spanish conquistadors could kill many natives and
won. Since that day, until September 27, 1821, Mexico became a colony of Spain.

How long did the Spanish colonization of Mexico last?


The Aztec Empire was the last great civilization prior to the arrival of the Spanish. They
came into power in 1325 and ruled until 1521. In 1521, Spanish conquistador Hernan
Cortes conquered the Aztecs and Mexico became a Spanish colony. For 300 years Spain
ruled the land until the early 1800s
AUTHOR’S PROFILE
Born on September 30, 1950, in Mexico City, Mexico, Laura Esquivel began writing while
working as a kindergarten teacher. She wrote plays for her students and wrote children's
television programs during the 1970s and 1980s. Her first novel, Like Water for Chocolate,
became internationally beloved and was made into an award-winning film. Her other titles
include The Law of Love and Between the Fires.

Esquivel often explores the relationship between men and women in Mexico in her work. She is
best known for Like Water for Chocolate (1990), an imaginative and compelling combination of
novel and cookbook. It had been released in Mexico a year earlier. After the release of the film
version in 1992, Like Water for Chocolate became internationally known and loved. The book
has sold more than 4.5 million copies.

Awards: Ariel Award for Best Screenplay for Cinema

Esquivel has continued to show her creative flair and lyrical style in her later work.
Accompanied by a collection of music, her second novel The Law of Love (1996) combined
romance and science fiction. Between the Fires (2000) featured essays on life, love, and food.
Her novel, Malinche (2006), explores the life of a near mythic figure in Mexican history-the
woman who served as Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés's interpreter and mistress.

Once married to director Alfonso Arau, Esquivel is divorced and lives in Mexico City, Mexico.
CHARACTERS
Hernan Cortés biography

Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro Altamirano, Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca was a Spanish
Conquistador who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large
portions of what is now mainland Mexico under the rule of the King of Castile in the early 16th
century. Wikipedia
Born: 1485, Medellín, Spain
Died: 2 December 1547, Castilleja de la Cuesta, Spain
Full name: Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro Altamirano
Spouse: Catalina Juárez (m. ?–1522)
Education: University of Salamanca
Parents: Martín Cortés de Monroy, Catalina Pizarro Altamirano

Early Life

Cortés was the son of Martín Cortés de Monroy and of Doña Catalina Pizarro Altamarino—names of
ancient lineage. “They had little wealth, but much honor,” according to Cortés’s secretary, Francisco
López de Gómara, who tells how, at age 14, the young Hernán was sent to study at Salamanca, in
west-central Spain, “because he was very intelligent and clever in everything he did.” Gómara went
on to describe him as ruthless, haughty, mischievous, and quarrelsome, “a source of trouble to his
parents.” Certainly he was “much given to women,” frustrated by provincial life, and excited by
stories of the Indies Columbus had just discovered. He set out for the east coast port of Valencia with
the idea of serving in the Italian wars, but instead he “wandered idly about for nearly a year.” Clearly
Spain’s southern ports, with ships coming in full of the wealth and color of the Indies, proved a
greater attraction.
Biography

Malinali, also known as Malintzín, "Doña Marina," and most commonly as "Malinche," was a
native Mexican woman who was given to conquistador Hernan Cortes as a slave in 1519.
Malinche soon proved herself very useful to Cortes, as she was able to help him interpret
Nahuatl, the language of the mighty Aztec Empire.

Malinche was an invaluable asset for Cortes, as she not only translated but also helped him
understand local cultures and politics. She became his mistress as well and bore Cortes a
son. Many modern Mexicans see Malinche as a great traitor who betrayed her native
cultures to the bloodthirsty Spanish invaders.

Malinche's Early Life

Malinche's original name was Malinali. She was born sometime around 1500 in the town of
Painala, close to the larger settlement of Coatzacoalcos. Her father was a local chieftain, and
her mother was from the ruling family of the nearby village of Xaltipan. Her father died,
however, and when Malinali was a young girl, her mother remarried to another local lord
and bore him a son.
Apparently wishing the boy to inherit all three villages, Malinali's mother sold her into
slavery in secret, telling the people of the town that she had died. Malinali was sold to
slavers from Xicallanco, who in turn sold her to the lord of Potonchan. Although she was a
slave, she was a high-born one and never lost her regal bearing. She also had a gift for
languages.
Malinalli needed that silence to create new and resonant
words. The right words, the ones that were necessary.
Recently she had stopped serving Portocarro, her lord,
because Cortes had named her “The Tongue,” the one
who transcribed what he said into the Nahuatl language,
and what Montezuma’s messenger said, from Nahuatl to
Spanish. Malinalli had learned Spanish at an
extraordinary speed, in no way could it be said that she
was completely fluent. Often she had to turn to Aguilar to
help her to translate it correctly, so that what she said
made sense in the minds of both the Spaniards and the
Mexicans.
Being “The Tongue” was an enormous responsibility. She didn’t want to make
a mistake or misinterpret, and she couldn’t see how to prevent it since it was
so difficult translating complex ideas from one language to the other. She felt
as if each time she uttered a word she journeyed back hundreds of
generations. When she said the name of Ometeotl, the creator of the
dualities Omecihuatl and Ometecuhtli, the musculine and feminine principles,
she put herself at the beginning of creation. That was the power of the
spoken word. But then, how can you contain in a single word the god
Ometeotl, he who is without shape, the lord who is not born and does not
die; whom water cannot wet, fire cannot burn, wind cannot move, and earth
cannot bury? Impossible. The same seemed to happen to Cortes, who
couldn’t make her understand certain concepts of his religion. Once she asked
him what the name of God’s wife was.
“God doesn’t have a wife,” Cortes answered.
“It cannot be.”
“Why not?”
“Because without a womb, without darkness, light cannot emerge. It is from her greatest
depths that Mother Earth creates precious stones, and in the darkness of her womb that
gods and humans take their forms. Without a womb there is no god.”
Cortes stared intently at Malinalli and saw the light in the abyss of her eyes. It was
a moment of intense connection between them, but Cortes directed his eyes somewhere
else, abruptly disconnected himself from her, because he was frightened by that sensation of
complicity, belonging, and he immediately tried to cut off the conversation between them,
for, aside from everything else, it seemed too strange speaking about religious matters with
her, a native in his service.
“What do you know about God! Your gods demand all the blood in the world in
order to exist, while our Gods offers His own to us with each Communion. We drink his
blood.”
Malinalli did not understand all of the words that Cortes had just uttered. What she
wanted to hear, what her brain wanted to interpret, was that the god of the Spaniards was
fluid god, for he was in the blood, in the secret of the flesh, the secret of love; that he was
contained in the eternity of the universe. And she wanted to believe in such a deity.
“So then your god is liquid?” Malinalli asked enthusiastically.
“Liquid?”
“Yes. Didn’t you say that he was in the blood that he offered?”
“Yes, woman! But now you answer me, do your offer you blood?”
“No.”
“Aha! Then you shoudn’t believe in them.”
Malinalli’ s eyes filled with tears as she replied.
“I don’t believe that they have to offer blood. I believe in your liquid god, I like that he is a
god who is constantly flowing, and that he manifests himself even in my tears. I like that he stern, strict,
and just, that his anger could create or make the universe vanish in one day. But you can’t have that
without water or womb. For there to be songs and flower, there needs to be water; with it, words rise
and matter takes on form. There is life that is born without a womb, but it does not remain long on
earth. What is engendered in darkness, however, in profundity of caves, like precious gems and golds,
lasts much longer. They say that there is a place beyond the sea, where there are higher mountains, and
there, Mother earth has plentiful water to fertilize the earth; and here, in my land, we have deep caves
and within them, great treasures are produced—”
“Really? What treasures? Where are these caves?”
Malinalli did not want to answer him and said that she did not know. His interruption
bothered her. It proved that Cortes was not interested in talking about his religion, or his gods, or his
beliefs, or even about her. It was clear that he was only interested in material treasures. She excused
herself and went to weep by the river.
This and many other things made it difficult for them to understand each other. Malinalli
believed that words colored memory, planting images each time that a thing was named. And as flowers
bloomed in the countryside after a rainfall, so that which was planted in the mind bore fruit each time
that word, moistened by saliva, named it. For example, the concept of a true and eternal god, which the
Spaniards had proclaimed, in her mind had borne fruit because it had already been planted there by the
ancestors. From them she had also learned that things came to exist when you named them, when you
moistened them, when you painted them. God breathed through his word, gave life through it, and
because of his, because of the labor and grace of the God of All Things, it was possible to paint in the
mind of the Spaniards and Mexicans new concepts, new ideas.
.
Being “The Tongue” was a great spiritual duty, for it meant putting all her being at the
service of the gods so that her tongue was part of the resounding system of the divinity, so
that her voice would spread through the cosmos the very meaning of existence. But
Malinalli did not feel up to the task. Very often, when translating, she let herself be guided
by her feelings, and then the voice of fear, fear of being unfaithful to the gods, of failure,
fear of not being able to bear responsibility. And truthfully, also fear of power, of taking
power.
Never before had she felt what it was like to be in charge. She soon found that
whoever controls information, whoever controls meaning, acquires power. And she
discovered that when she translated she controlled the situation, and not only that but that
words could be weapons. The finest of weapons.
Pocahontas was a Native American woman notable for her association with the colonial
settlement at Jamestown, Virginia. Pocahontas was the daughter of Powhatan, the paramount
chief of a network of tributary tribal nations in the Tsenacommacah, encompassing the
Tidewater region of Virginia. Wikipedia
 La Malinche, as part of the Monumento al Mestizaje in Mexico City
 In the 1973 Mexican film Leyendas macabras de la colonia, La Malinche's mummy is in the possession of Luisa, her daughter by Hernán Cortés, while
her spirit inhabits a cursed painting.
 La Malinche is referred to in the songs "Cortez the Killer" from the 1975 album Zuma by Neil Young, and "La Malinche" by the French band Feu!
Chatterton from their 2015 album Ici le jour (a tout enseveli)
 In the animated television series The Mysterious Cities of Gold (1982), which chronicles the adventures of a Spanish boy and his companions traveling
throughout South America in 1532 to seek the lost city of El Dorado, a woman called Marinche becomes a dangerous adversary. The series was
originally produced in Japan, and when translated into English.
 In the fictional Star Trek universe, a starship, the USS Malinche, was named for La Malinche, and appeared in the 1997 "For the Uniform" episode of
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. This was done by Hans Beimler, a native of Mexico City, who together with friend Robert Hewitt Wolfe later wrote a
screenplay based on La Malinche called The Serpent and the Eagle.
 La Malinche is a key character in the opera La Conquista (2005) by Italian composer Lorenzo Ferrero.
 Malinalli is the main character in a 2011 historical novel by Helen Heightsman Gordon, Malinalli of the Fifth Sun: The Slave Girl Who Changed the Fate
of Mexico and Spain.

 La Malinche's legacy is one of myth mixed with legend, and the opposing opinions of the Mexican people about the legendary woman. Some see her
as a founding figure of the Mexican nation. While others, however, continue to find the legends more memorable than the history, seeing her as a
traitor, as may be assumed from a legend that she had a twin sister who went North and the pejorative nickname La Chingada associated with her
twin.

 Feminist interventions into the figure of Malinche began in 1960s. The work of Rosario Castellanos was particularly significant.[27] Her subsequent
poem La Mallinche recast her not as a traitor but as a victim.[28] Mexican feminists defended Malinche as a woman caught between cultures, forced
to make complex decisions, who ultimately served as a mother of a new race.[29]

 In popular culture
 A reference to La Malinche as Marina is made in the novel The Manuscript Found in Saragossa by the Polish author Jan Potocki, in which she is cursed
for yielding her "heart and her country to the hateful Cortez, chief of the sea-brigands."[30]
 La Malinche appears in the adventure novel Montezuma's Daughter (1893) by H. Rider Haggard.
 Doña Marina appears in the Henry King film adventure Captain from Castile (1947) played Estela Inda.
 La Malinche is portrayed as a Christian and protector of her fellow native Mexicans in the novel Tlaloc Weeps for Mexico (1939) by László Passuth,
and is the main protagonist in such works as the novels The Golden Princess (1954) by Alexander Baron and Feathered Serpent: A Novel of the
Mexican Conquest (2002) by Colin Falconer. In contrast, she is portrayed as a duplicitous traitor in Gary Jennings' novel Aztec (1980). A novel
published in 2006 by Laura Esquivel portrays the main character as a pawn of history who becomes Malinche.
 In 1949, choreographer José Limón premiered the dance trio "La Milanche" to music by Norman Lloyd. It was the first work created by Limón for his
own company, and was based on his memories as a child of Mexican fiestas.[31]
 The story of La Malinche is told in Cortez and Marina (1963) by Edison Marshall

Related Interests