Malinche

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La Malinche

La Malinche lived from 1496 – 1529, though some sources dispute about when her death was and say that she died in 1551. According to her contemporary, the author Bernal Díaz del Castillo, Malinche was the daughter of a noble Aztec family. Her mother remarried after Malinche’s father died. When her mother gave birth to a son, Malinche was considered an inconvenient step-child and was sold to Mayan slave-traders. Malinche's family faked her death by telling their neighbors that the recently dead child of a slave was Malinche. At some point, she was given or sold again, and was taken to Potonchan, where she was eventually given to the Spaniards. Some people are skeptical about this theory of Malinche’s past life but there is no evidence to the contrary. What is definite about Malinche’s life is that after living amongst both the Mayans and Aztecs she was able to act as their translator and her fellow slaves started to call her “Malintzin.” Hernando Cortés, who was the leader of the Spanish explorers, was also called Hernando Malintzin by the natives. Malinche had a son by Hernando (Don Martín Cortés); he is believed to have been one of the first European-American children. Eventually she was able to learn enough Spanish and work as their translator and guide. She later married Juan Jaramillo, a Nahuatl gentleman; she had a daughter with him in 1527. Little to nothing is known about her after this.

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