Malinche / Doña Marina | Moctezuma II | Jeronimo De Aguilar | Others

"Who's Who? / What's What?" from Nancy Fitch's excellent The Conquest of Mexico.

Malinche / Doña Marina

"A Historic Figure Is Still Hated by Many in Mexico" by Clifford Krauss, New York Times (May 1997).

"But even though Mexican and Mexican-American intellectuals have begun to rethink her meaning, La Malinche is for the most part portrayed as the perpetrator of Mexico's original sin and as a cultural metaphor for all that is wrong with Mexico."

La Malinche, Unrecognized Heroine by Shep Lenchek, a medium-length biography promoting Malinche's courage and intelligence. She also confirms the best way to acquire a language:

"As the Conquest progressed and she and Cortés shared a bed, Doña Marina quickly learned to speak Spanish and replaced Jeronimo De Aguilar almost completely."
Also see Lenchek's (shorter) "La Malinche" — Harlot or Heroine?

Amazon. Malinche's Conquest by Anna Lanyon.

Review by Richard Lunn, Australian Book Review (June 2000).

"The search itself is often more engaging and satisfying than its outcomes. In the end the sources lack the detail to provide us with much more than the elusive shadow and half-heard echo of the historical individual. There is little new that can be uncovered. With close attention to the archival material and sound deductive logic Anna Lanyon succeeds in pinning down the year of Malinche's death as 1528. But the most intriguing discoveries here are imaginative and interpretive rather than deductive and factual…"

Amazon. La Malinche in Mexican Literature: From History to Myth by Sandra Messinger Cypess, billed as "the first serious study tracing La Malinche in texts from the conquest period to the present day."

Publisher blurb (UT Press), with a table of contents and a large excerpt, "La Malinche as Palimpsest."

A rare statue of La Malinche in Villa Oluta, Veracruz, documented by Antonio Rafael de la Cova.

Reinterpreting Malinche by John Taylor, from the student journal Ex Post Facto (2000). Long article on the vicissitudes of her historical image, and an attempt to come up with a genuine historical Malinche.

"The best way to achieve a sane and discernable interpretation of Malinche is to attempt to evaluate her role after separating her from the myths and mistaken identities that have slandered her image. This places Malinche in her proper context, a sixteenth century woman. By doing this we can give Malinche a voice, an active role in the narrative, where she is less a result of posthumous revision and more a product of her own actions."

"La Malinche: Creator or traitor?" by R. Michael Conner, a good short review with two modern paintings, from the "Translator Interpreter Hall of Fame."

"Malinche—Indian Princess or Slavish Whote? An Overview" by Nancy Fitch. An excellent introduction to what the sources say about her. Also see Fitch's Representations of Malinche.

Moctezuma II

Aztec Hamlet: The Tragedy of Moctezuma II by Shep Lenchek, an off-shoot of his capable The Aztecs Speak: An Aztec account of the Conquest of Mexico .

Death of Moctezuma . Excerpts from Diaz and Cortés' letters.

Jeronimo De Aguilar

Biography of Jeronimo De Aguilar by Shep Lenchek. Aguilar, a priest, was shipwrecked off the Yucatan and together with another Spaniard spent eight years living with locals and learning Mayan, but keeping apart as well.

"Aguilar remained true to his priestly vows and refused to form a romantic liaison with any of the attractive girls whom the chief placed at his disposal. The Indian ruler, both amused and bemused, finally appointed Aguilar as keeper of his harem."
Picked up by Cortés, Aguilar's language skills were critical—Malinche translated the Aztec's Nahua into Mayan and Aguilar translated her Mayan into Spanish. After Cortez took Malinche as a lover and she learned Spanish, Aguilar was excused from this peculiar triangle and largely vanished from history.


Catholic Encyclopedia: Toribio de Benavente Motolinia. Franciscan missionary.

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