Sep 1, 2013

EL HUIPIL PARA MALINTZIN

A DRESS FOR MALINTZIN / MALINALLI / LA MALINCHE / DOñA MARINA
(Veracruz, 1501 – 1530)

a woman called by so many names!



This child’s dress, patterned with the calendar glyphs of the Pochtecas, is also layered with gauze to simulate a veil between La Malinche and us. Called a traitor by some, a liberator and mother of the new race by others, a veil exists through space and time, making it impossible for us to ever fully know her own story. 


A DRESS FOR MALINTZIN, mixed media, 17x21", 2009
MENSAJES GUARDADOS, Galeria 6, Mineral de Pozos


At the age of 10, her parents sold her to a band of traveling merchants, the Pochtecas. They resold her at 13, to Chocun Putun, as a maid in waiting. Seeing her exceptional talents, they then presented her, along with 19 other women, to Hernán Cortés. He made her into his translator, his guide, his concubine, eventually having children by her. Christianized, she became Doña Marina. As his reluctant accomplice, she is negated still today, and nowhere are her own words recorded.




Images from early codices show La Malinche speaking for Cortés, wearing a long huipil.




In July, on a trip to Mexico City, I was again reminded of her while visiting the Museo de la Ciudad. The building that houses it was built on the ancient site of the Tenochtitlan causeway, and these codex images most likely represent the first meeting between Cortés and Moctezuma. 







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