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The Malinche

THE BARRIERS OF INGENUITY

Bernal Díaz del Castillo tells that Malinalli Tenépatl, also known as La Malinche or Marina, was born in Coatzacoalcos and was handed over as a slave to Hernán Cortés, along with 19 other women.

This young woman became the couple of the conqueror and spoke at least two languages: Nahuatl and Mayan, then learned Spanish and became an "excellent woman and good language" in the excursions of the Cortes group.

She, like many others of her time, believed that the newcomers were sent by Quetzalcoatl, who had promised to return, and therefore, Cortes was a reincarnation of his god or at least his subordinate. Many aspects contributed to this: the "floating houses" (boats), the horses, the skin tone and the armor of the newcomers ended up creating an image that the inhabitants could barely understand.

In addition, the arrival of Quetzalcoatl had many positive implications, among them, removing the power of the Aztecs, a people that was repressive, cruel and unjust; the hope of other peoples was magnified in those years.

This is how it is difficult to blame him for everything that happened.

Dona Marina was the language through which Cortés spoke with the nobles in Cholula and communicated with Moctezuma.

Carlos Fuentes, in his book "El Naranjo", puts four characters face to face: Moctezuma, Jerónimo de Aguilar, a Spaniard who had already warned of the conqueror threat; Hernán Cortés and Dona Marina ... exactly how the conversation developed is a detail lost in time, but the only person who could communicate directly with everyone was Marina, a woman who certainly held a grudge against the Aztecs, but believed that her companions were reincarnations of gods that would bring better times.

Unfortunately, she had to realize the reality, she was not accompanied by gods, but by greedy and bloodthirsty men.

Doña Marina died at the age of 27 after having a son of Cortés and having been given a gift again, this time to Juan Jaramillo, so that he would give her a name and a freedom...

We will never know their true intentions, but their history can at least serve as a reminder not to assume that we know everything when we turn to previous times.

La Malinche

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