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Is Malinche a Victim or Villain?  

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Victim or Villain?


Map of Spanish Route to Tenochititlan

Spanish Route


"La Malinche"

La Malinche
Carmen Tafolla

Yo soy la Malinche.

My people called me Malintzín Tenepal
the Spaniards called me Doña Marina

I came to be known as Malinche
and Malinche came to mean traitor.

they called me—chingada
(Ha—¡Chingada! ¡Screwed!)

Of noble ancestry, for whatever that means,
I was sold into slavery by MY ROYAL FAMILY—so
that my brother could get my inheritance.

…And then the omens began_a god, a new civilization, the downfall of our empire.
And you came.
My dear Hernán Cortés, to share your "civilization"—to play a god, ... and I began to
dream .. .
I saw
and I acted.

I saw our world
And I saw yours
And I saw_

And yes—I helped you—against Emperor Moctezuma
Xocoyotzín himself.
I became Interpreter, Advisor, and lover.
They could not imagine me dealing on a level
with you—so they said I was raped, used,

But I saw our world
and your world
and another.

No one else could see
Beyond one world, none existed.
And you yourself cried the night
the city burned
and burned at your orders.
The most beautiful city on earth
in flames.
You cried broken tears the night you saw
your destruction.

My homeland ached within me
(but I saw another).

a world yet to be born.
And our child was born ...
and I was immortalized Chingada!

Years later, you took away my child (my sweet
mestizo new world child)
to raise him in your world
You still didn't see.
You still didn't see.
And history would call me

But Chingada I was not.
Not tricked, not screwed, not traitor.
For I was not traitor to myself_
I saw a dream
and I reached it.
Another world………
la raza.
La raaaaa-zaaaaa ...

Source: Tafolla, Carmen. "La Malinche."
1978. In Infinite Divisions: An Anthology of
Chicana Literature. Edited by Tey Diana Rebolledo and Eliana Rivero. Tucson:
University of Arizona Press, 1993. First published 1978 in Canto al Pueblo: An
Anthology of Experiences by Texas: Penca Books.


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