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La Malinche Essay

Malinalli Tenḗpatl also known as Malintzin, La Malinche and Doña Marina., her birthday is not known and her birth year is between 1496c and 1500c, she was born between the Aztec ruled Mexico and the Mayan state of Yucá tan.. Doña Marina was an American Indian of Aztec/ Nahual ancestors who played a critical importance in the Spanish Conquest of Mexico.

Marina was a princess of Paynala. Her Father a king of his tribe, died and when that happen the mother remarried and bore a son. The stepfather and mother conspired a plan to get rid of her so the son can be the future king. They told their tribe that Malinalli diedand they used a slave girl’s body for proof. They sold Malinalli to the Mayan slave-traders from Xicalango. In 1519 Cortes acquired Malinalli from the Mayan of Potonchan as a peace offering of 20 slave girls including Malinalli. It was said that Malinalli was a beautiful and graceful young women. She was baptized with the name of Marina. Cortes saw that she spoke two languages Nahual/Aztec. Cortes realizes she was an asset and kept her by his side as an interpreter and an advisor. Marina became an invaluable translator and advisor to Cortes. She provided an insight on the tribe’s customs, tribal alliances and gossip.

She interpreted conversations between Cortes and Moctezuma during the conquest of the Aztec empire. She spoke two languages Nahual and Aztec. She eventually learned to speak Spanish and was the sole interpreter for Cortes. Marina is shown in the Aztec Codices along side of Cortes. The Natives referred to Cortes and Marina by the same name of Malintzin given to them by the Tlaxcalans. And out of great respect towards her the Native Americans called her Doña Marina.

Her interpreting skills played an enormous role. She facilitated communication between Cortes and various Native American leaders. Doña Marina, had strong diplomatic skills that she used during critical moments of the conquest of the Aztec Empire. She was Cortes mistress and bore him a son name Martin who was one of the first Mestizos ever.

After the conquest she married a captain from Cortes’s army named, Juan Jaramillo, and went to lived in an estate in Mexico were she bore a daughter by the name of Doña Maria. Her people considered her a traitor and called her, La Malinche, which means treachery. Doña Marina was considered a great sophisticated lady by the Spaniards and Native American tribes. She earned the respect of all Cortes troops and some Native American tribes. If it wasn’t for La Malinche Cortes would have not gotten far in the Spanish conquest of Mexico.


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