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Malinche - Research Paper Example

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Malinche number Date Evolving images of La Malinche Malinche, also known as Malintzin, Malinalli and Dona Marina, is considered one of the controversial players in the Spanish conquest of the Mexica Empire. As the Indian interpreter to Hernan Cortes, she played a very crucial role in the Spanish conquest…
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Download file to see previous pages According to Hampton,1 Malinche was born to chief Oluta, who was a member of the royal house of the Aztecs in 1502. 2 Her father died when she was still very young. According to the culture of her people, she was the sole heir of her father’s wealth and position as the chief. This, however, never happened. Malinche’s mother remarried and had a son with her stepfather. Her mother and stepfather then formulated a plan and sold her to slave traders, for her son to remain the sole heir of the throne. In her plan, Malinche’s mother took advantage of the death of one of her slave’s daughters. She blackmailed this slave and ended up burying the slave’s daughter as Malinche. 3 The slave was told to remain silent, or be sent away with the merchants who were buying slaves. 4 Not all sources concur on Malinche’s origin. However, it has been established by Joan Hershafield that she was a Nahuatl with the original name of Malimalli. Her province of birth was Coazacualco. According to the author, stories of Malinche’s slave life that led her to Cortes are contradictory. On the one hand, Lee Stacy presents Malinche as a member of the royal house of the Aztecs and the legal heir of her father’s throne as do sources in the previous paragraph. However, on the other hand, Hamptons contradicts that information, blackmails the family relations of Malinche, and argues that she was the daughter of a slave. The translation process was long-drawn-out, involving the Spanish, Mayan, and Nahuatl languages. When Cortes wanted to communicate with Nahuatl speakers, among whom were the influential Mexica or Aztec people, he would first tell Jeronimo de Aguilar, who would then translate into Mayan for La Malinche, who then further translated Cortes’ statement to the Nahuatl speakers, those reply was communicated by the reverse process. Due to this three-way interaction, the Nahuatl-speakers called her Malintzin. The Spanish upon hearing the natives calling her Malintzin, tried calling her the same, but their mispronounced version was Malinche. 5 Hampton tells us that La Malinche’s father placed a golden necklace around the little girl’s neck and said, “That this necklace will be the sign forever that shows you are a member of the Royal Aztec house, and your name is Malintzin.” 6 The Mexican citizens considered Malinche a traitor because she was Cortes’ mistress and was his translator. When she was baptized, she adopted a new name because she had no choice. Having been sold by her own mother into slavery, she had no choice but to obey the ways of slavery. Slavery led her into Cortes hands. Castillo, Bernal, Janet Burke and Humphrey tell us that Malinche that she was under captivity in Maya before being offered to Cortes as a war trophy by the Maya people. 7 Cortes wanted to conquer Mexico no matter what. It was one of his targets. Malinche, therefore should, not be blamed for some other person’s political and personal interests. Appreciation should be given to Malinche for making negotiations possible. 8 Levesque suggests that Malinche willingly offered herself to Cortes, making her a betrayer to Mexico. 9 She is considered a representation of Mexico’s Eve, man’s first other and Christian history’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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