sábado, 3 de abril de 2010


By: Felipe Argote

The book, despite claims that counts on the collaboration of historians, in some ways contradicts the generally accepted history of La Malinche, Malitzin or Mallinali, the daughter of Chimalpain a tribe chief and a beautiful young noble called Cimatl. According to Laura Esquivel Malinche was not even his name if not given to Hernan Cortez by the Nahuas because it means the owner of Mallinali. Additionally, the author contends that Doña Marina, as she was baptized by the Spanish, was a humble woman given to him by his mother as a child because she interfered in her new relationship after the death of her husband, and then being as a young woman gifted to Hernan Cortez for her new family. In the history described by Bernal Diaz del Castillo in "True History of the Conquest of New Spain", Mallinalli was given as an offering after the arrival of the Spanish to Mayan chiefs in Tabasco, after the defeat of the Nahua group which he belonged. These in turn gave to Cortez to be defeated by the Spanish in the Battle of Centla. In the tradition of the indigenous people of the time when nobles defeated princesses were given as evidence of peace. Bernal Diaz del Castillo was part of the expedition of Hernán Cortés, therefore I tend to believe more in their version than in that of Laura Esquivel.

I read Laura Esquivel's "Like Water for Chocolate", "Kingdom of Love" and the latter, Malinche. I confess that the first fascinated me. When I found out that she published a new book soon went to buy it and what I read disappoint me. “The Kingdom of Love” I could not finish it. This honestly did not seem as bad as the second but quite regular to say the least. Esquivel seems Spanish colonization was a fairy tale. He invented a love story, but reading his own book one notices that did not exist. Hernan Cortez fails to comply with the commitment and oath that the Spanish have no sexual abuse of indigenous women although they were distributed as slaves. Who can believe that? The great slaughter of Cholula, where Cortes met in a closed court to all the nobles and lords of the population to thank for weeks of attention they had given him and his men and massacred them by surprise first with muskets then tearing and dismembering them with swords. Not given the slightest opportunity to defend themselves as they had been disarmed. The Indians were unable to suspect such infamy. For them the war was noble. Spanish Savages used to kill betrayal. But according to Laura Esquivel this was justified by the fact that Cortez had received information that a Mexican army sent by the emperor was waiting outside, but by her own admission this was never confirmed. Of course it was not otherwise Cortes had not been two months after the slaughter at Cholula. The subsequent deaths of six thousand out of 30,000 people in the streets of Cholula surprised by those who were not considered their enemy, especially women and children was not made by the Spanish but by their allies Tlaxcala, according to Esquivel. Even more surprising is the claim that the epidemic of smallpox brought by the Spanish and made away with 97% of the population of the empire was not brought by the Spanish but by the slaves brought by the Spanish in Cuba. Incredible!

The wording seems to Malinche Spanish aid to the invasion of Tenochtitlan because of their religious differences for the human sacrifices of the Mexica and their worship of Quetzalcoatl. But Malinche was not Maya was so Mexica as Montezuma, the emperor of Tenochtitlan, as much of the people of Nahuatl language far south as what is now Costa Rica. Like most of the inhabitants of the empire was a descendant of those who came from Aztlan, which means marshy land that gives rise to the Aztec word that is also known the Aztecs and the Nahuatl language. If Cortes took Malinche as a concubine and kept his side was because she spoke the Mayan language for having been a slave of the Mayan of Tabasco, then Malinalli Tenépatl, which means the language Marina, her ability to speak two languages, translated from the Nahuatl to Maya and from Maya to Spanish was translated by Geronimo de Aguilar, a shipwrecked from ship Santa Maria de la Barca, who had survived the sinking and with other Spanish, Gonzalo Guerrero, had been integrated into the Mayan Indians. When Cortez reached the island of Cozumel learned of the existence of the shipwrecked Spanish. While Geronimo de Aguilar translated from Spanish to Maya, Malinche translated from Maya to her native language Nahuatl to Montezuma. Gonzalo Guerrero refused to return with the Spanish because he had married and had children. It is said that even he fought the Spanish.

The writing of  Malinche, by Laura Esquivel is often heavy because it stretches too much in bloom, in the metaphorical to the point of cloying. Sincerely Malinche reading I found it in a little torture, nothing to do with the very good "Like Water for Chocolate", although unlike "The law of love" was not so bad as to prevent the read of the entire book.

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