Friday, October 13, 2006

Silence Itself

Malina. Born into a noble Nahuatl clan. Crying for her dead father. Sold into slavery to a Mayan tribe. Her own death faked by the mother who sold her away. A new people, a new language. Baptised Doña Marina by the Spanish: new conquerors, new loves. A new master tongue. The Nahuatl added the noble -tzin suffix: Malintzin. The lazy Spanish tongue tripped over the native language and renamed her Malinche. Her lover Cortés, too, shared her name. Both slave and master, both native and alien were called by the same name. Mother of the first mestizo, mother of all of Mexico. Her half-breed children murdered. She was passed on to other men. Cortés declared, "After God we owe this conquest of New Spain to Doña Marina." She spoke out of both sides of her mouth, interpreting between Cortés and Moctezuma. Malina - abandoned child, survivor, warrior for the new globalization, linguist, messenger, bringer of tidings, mother. Malinche - la conquistadora.

This Columbus Day, embrace and celebrate your own malinchismo.

No comments:

Post a Comment