Sunday, May 22, 2011


So we survived the rapture, but more importantly: this paper has been done for nearly a week.  And here it is:

The Enemy Within: The Transformations of La Malinche within the Twentieth Century Chicano Movement
            In 1519, Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés was making his way up the Yucutan in hopes of finding gold and conquering more land in the New World for the Spanish kingdom and his own personal gain.  He and his men had their sights set on Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec empire.  While in the Yucutan, Cortés received a gift which would be invaluable to him for the duration of his time in New Spain: among a group of twenty native women given as slaves was Malintzin Tenepal.[1] 
The woman today is known by three names.  Malintzin Tenepal, Doña Marina, La Malinche.  Indigenous, Christian, Mexican.  She was a slave, a translator, a mistress and a mother.  However, these roles are not where the exploration of her role can begin.  It must begin with her names and the significance of them all.  Malintzin – the native name only popularized in the late twentieth century by those seeking to redeem her from centuries of exploitation and damnation.  Doña Marina – the name awarded to her by Cortés upon baptism, the first indicator of the betrayal but also an acknowledgement of her indigenous nobility with the use of Doña.[2]  La Malinche – the most common name despite being synonymous with the image of the cultural betrayer.  All of these names are given, not chosen, but the plethora of names assigned to this figure is in direct contrast to the lack of her own voice in the historical record.  Her words are spoken for her – by sixteenth century historians and twentieth century philosophers – she is never allowed to speak for herself despite her pivotal role as a translator.  In the same light, her names are also given to her.[3]  They signify the varied accounts of her historical presence and the views societies hold of her.  She is many things to many people, an exile from history and a scapegoat for colonial power, and this status is exemplified through her name.  She is a historical figure constantly plunged in and out of exile, hovering between the factual and the fictional by strings attached by those who lived after her.  La Malinche’s exile from history has significantly shaped the Mexican national identity of the twentieth century.
The examination of La Malinche’s assorted names broaches the various contexts of her portrayal in the near-half millennia since her first meeting with Cortés and the Spanish conquistadors.  La Malinche has been used by colonists, by revolutionaries, by civil rights activists and by feminists – among others – to accomplish goals which she historically had no involvement in.  In the sixteenth-century Spanish historical texts written about the conquest of Mexico, La Malinche takes on the role of interpreter and assistant, and is valued for this role.  For centuries after her death, La Malinche was viewed as a hero, a “conquistadora[4] within the consciousness of colonial Mexico.  The revolutions which sought the overthrow of the Spanish in the early nineteenth-century in Mexico soured her image in the scope of Mexican national identity.  The Mexicans needed to remove Spanish sentiments which pervaded the culture in order to gain independence.  Their first target was the role of the indigenous women who worked and entered into relationships with the Spanish in order to conquer Mexico.  Consequently, Doña Marina lost her position as a powerful woman in history and instead fulfilled the classic trope of the indigenous woman who could not control her sexuality and betrayed her people in order to carry out her own desires.  This view is a complete departure from the historical record and only contributes to the exile from history La Malinche has experienced within the last five-hundred years. 
The Significance of Exile from History
Exile from history is a three-fold concept.  First, there is the silence of a historical figure within the actual writings contemporary to his or her time.  Though his or her presence may be mentioned constantly, and although actions may be contributed to him or her, the actual human being is never given the opportunity to write his or her own biography or opinions about the events which occurred in his or her life.  La Malinche experiences this form of exile from history in the Spanish sixteenth-century historical record.  Although several historians speak at various lengths about her, there is no reliable record of her own words despite the ten years she spent as a translator for Cortés.  No matter the amount of power she is given through the portrayal of her actions, La Malinche’s role in the conquest remains open to manipulation through the various groups that use her name. 
The second aspect of exile from history also occurs within the historical record.  It is the lack of interest in the historical figure once his or her role in a major event has been fulfilled and transcribed.  For La Malinche, the events of her life become silent after the fall of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan in 1521.  Although she bears Cortés a son named Martín sometime in the same year, her life is no longer recounted in the step-by-step process she was allowed during the conquest.  She more or less disappears from the record for three years.  This can mainly be attributed to the fact that Cortés was living with his Spanish wife during this time and therefore there are no records in which both Doña Marina and Cortés cohabitate.[5]  In 1524, Cortés asked Doña Marina to accompany him as an interpreter to Honduras.[6]  During the mission, Marina became pregnant with the daughter of her Spanish husband, Juan de Jaramillo.  Not long after giving birth, Marina died, having spent approximately ten years with the company of the Spanish in Mexico.[7]  Though this information is known about Doña Marina,  the years after the fall of Tenochtitlan still lack the intense tracking of her every actions that the conquest histories exhibit.  Significantly, the historical record does not seek to account for Doña Marina’s actions when she is not helping the male conquistadors.  This exile from history devalues her life as an individual: It may be understood that there is a lack of interest in her personal life outside of her role as translator to the Spanish, and therefore she is viewed as though she has no true value outside of the one role assigned to her by historians. 
  The third prong of exile from history relies upon the national consciousness of the peoples who use the historical figure for their own purposes  Edward Said connects nationalism and modern, physical exile to a binary of the ‘us versus them.’  “All nationalisms have their founding fathers, their basic, quasi-religious texts, their rhetoric of belonging, their historical and geographical landmarks, their official enemies and heroes.”[8]  The exile from history experienced by a figure is then manipulated to create a national identity which relies upon the elevation or vilification of the value of this human life and the actions and characteristics he or she symbolizes.  The lack of historical data pointed out in the first two sections of exile from history allow for later figures to fill the void with their own ideas about the motivations and thought processes of an individual who lacks a written record from their own hand. 
La Malinche has been used by many groups in several nations – most significantly Mexico and the United States.  La Malinche experiences this part of exile from history because of her construction as an enemy on the inside, a them within the us reaching from pre-colonial history to the modern day.  She is purged from the national identity of Mexico through her exile in order to absolve it.  Frances Karttunen sees Malinche’s nineteenth-century role as that of an simple weapon used to negate the power of the Spanish: “The casting of great bells traditionally requires some human blood, and so it seems to be in the forging of national identity.  A scapegoat was needed for three centuries of colonial rule, and one was easily found in doña Marina, who was sexualized as the Indian woman who could not get enough of the white man.”[9]  These assumptions were made about the goals of Doña Marina without any recognition or thought for the reasons for her supposed betrayal.  She could not speak for herself from the historical record because she had been misinterpreted from the very beginning.  This third part of exile from history leaves La Malinche open to be used to further the goals of several groups within Mexican culture.  From the colonial era, where she was used as a figurehead of the mestizo nation, through the Mexican revolution, where her image was defiled in order to remove imperial influence, La Malinche has been implemented by the people, for the people, and never for herself. 
Exile from history finds rooting in the idea that someone was so worthless or so evil that they can only be forgotten, written-out, or vilified within modern national consciousness.  La Malinche’s exile is entrenched in the idea that after she died and after colonial ties were severed, the very thought of her was so atrocious to her people that they spent centuries of historical and literary work in order to demonize her very memory, to create an enemy for a whole people.  This is a form of exile from which one can never return, can never justify oneself.  This is a form of exile which buttresses the national identity of the Mexican people to this day.  This form of exile can only be reversed by those seeking to elevate themselves and their national identity, to move away from the villains of the past and towards a future which acknowledges the important roles and reasons of historical figures.  The social memory surrounding La Malinche depends on her inability to refute the accusations made against her character and actions.  Her historical context has been manipulated to serve other means, such as those of the Chicano Movement of the mid-twentieth century in the United States.  The movement, seeking civil rights for the Mexican-American population of the United States, used the historical presence of La Malinche in order to secure the separateness of its people within the dominant society.  An examination of La Malinche within history begins to unravel the actions of those who seek to place blame for the destruction of indigenous culture upon the shoulders of one historical character.
The Historical Record – La Malinche in the Sixteenth-Century
La Malinche enters the historical record of the sixteenth-century through her distinct role as translator and companion to Hernán Cortés.  Spanish chroniclers of the conquest vary in their representations of her.  Francisco López de Gómara, a Spanish priest hired by Cortés to write about the conquest using Cortés’ point of view, only briefly mentions La Malinche.  On the other side is Bernal Díaz del Castillo, a foot soldier under Cortés, who published his own account of the conquest written in an attempt to challenge the parts of Gómara’s history which he did not agree with.
The two histories spend different lengths on the presence of La Malinche in the conquest, but the most significant part is that they both note her as important to the mission.  Without these accounts, there would be little or no recorded presence of La Malinche.  Taking this a step further, without the Díaz accounts, written out of frustration with the official account by Gómara, there would be little known about La Malinche’s life before she encountered Cortés.
Gómara briefly sites La Malinche’s history in a chapter dedicated to her.  Here the text and analysis switches to La Malinche’s Christian name, Doña Marina.  Both Gómara and Díaz find it important to point out that she was baptized and therefore can only be referred to as Doña Marina.[10]   According to Gómara’s account, which is an amalgamation of the testimonies of Cortés and the men who served under him, Doña Marina was born to wealthy parents “who were related to the lord of that country.”[11]  Gómara then writes that Doña Marina claims that she was “stolen by certain merchants during a war and sold in the market place of Xicalanco.”[12]  She was a slave in several areas of the Yucatan before she was given to Cortés.  Gómara spends no more than a few sentences recounting Doña Marina’s life story, but he significantly introduces this personal history by using the phrasing “Marina…answered.”[13]  Here, Gómara is setting up the background of Doña Marina as a story she tells herself in reply to Cortés’ questioning of her.  It certainly reads as if this is the true history of Doña Marina from her own words, and appears to give her a voice within her own lifetime.  However, it is valid to question the legitimacy of the accounts, most importantly because Gómara was never in New Spain and his chronicle is a compilation of various accounts.  Time and various motivations could have changed the way the story was portrayed to Gómara as well as his own personal intentions, being as he was paid to write this history by Cortés himself.  
In contrast to the very brief account Gómara writes of Doña Marina’s life before the conquest, Bernal Díaz del Castillo weaves a story that spans many years and reads more like a biblical tale of tragedy and redemption than the simple summary Gómara supplies.  Díaz begins by establishing his own feelings towards Doña Marina, creating the most extensive portrayal of her available from her contemporaries: she was “one very excellent woman,”[14] “good looking and intelligent and without embarrassment.”[15]  Díaz’s high opinion of Doña Marina certainly translates into the way he treats her within his history – even in moments where she is just referenced as a translator, Díaz finds space to give her credit for all of her actions.  This treatment counters the way Gómara and even more so, Cortés, wrote her off as just another translator on the mission.  Of course, for both historians, Doña Marina’s presence is valuable enough to be noted in the historical record, unlike the works of Cortés who mentions Marina merely twice in his own letters.[16]  Díaz, by going as far as to comment on her personal attributes, takes a step which signifies a deeper respect for her role in the conquest than Gómara intend and Cortés intend.
Díaz then presents her story without associating it with her own words.  He says: “I wish to give some account of Doña Marina…It happened in this way.”[17]  Díaz’s history has Doña Marina being raised by parents who were also caciques – tribal and political leaders – of Paynala, a town within the Aztec empire.  Upon her father’s death, Doña Marina’s mother remarried and had a son with her new husband.  “Her father and mother had a great affection for this one [the son] and it was agreed between them that he should succeed their honours when their days were done.”[18]  With this plan in mind, Marina’s parents gave her away to peoples living in Xicalango and then claimed that she had died as to not bring about any suspicion.  Doña Marina was then given to people in Tabasco, a city in the Yucutan inhabited by the Maya.  With this movement, she was able to speak at least two languages before she was given to Cortés as a slave in 1519. It is important to note that Díaz never refers to Doña Marina as a slave, but rather she is a person that is constantly being “given.”[19]  This wording is another factor which signifies the respect Díaz holds for Marina and was no doubt held by several others of the conquistadors during the conquest.
Díaz goes on to further detail Doña Marina’s life under Cortés. After Tenochitlan, the Aztec capital, was conquered, Cortés went to Honduras in 1524 to quell an apprising in the area.  Díaz and Doña Marina accompanied him, and they passed through Coatzacoalcos, the major town near Marina’s birthplace.  Here, her mother and half-brother were jointly ruling as chiefs.  The expedition sent for them, and Díaz writes that “these relations [relatives] were in great fear of Doña Marina, for they thought that she had sent for them to put them to death, and they were weeping.”[20]  Díaz uses this event to establish his statement that “Doña Marina was a person of the great importance and was obeyed without question by the Indians throughout New Spain.”[21]  It is a potent image to have indigenous chiefs cowering in the presence of a woman that was once a slave and was now among the most trusted of Cortés’ group.  Díaz is giving Doña Marina a powerful position within the conquest which was used throughout centuries of colonial rule in Mexico.  By elevating her position to that of a woman respected by both the Spanish and the indigenous tribes, Díaz grants Doña Marina a great amount of agency and power within her limited position as a woman straddling the border between two patriarchal societies. 
Díaz closes his account of Doña Marina by showing a righteous and forgiving side of her: She instantly absolves her mother and half-brother for her life in bondage.  She gives them gifts of jewels and calms their fears.  Díaz constructs the encounter in a way which gives credit to the Spanish for changing Marina’s life.  She
Told them that God had been very gracious to her in freeing her from the worship of idols and making her a Christian, and letting her bear a son to her lord and master Cortés and in marrying her to such a gentleman as Juan Jaramillo, who was now her husband.  That she would rather serve her husband and Cortés than anything else in the world, and would not exchange her place to be Cacica of all the provinces in New Spain.[22]

Díaz’s writing claims that these are words she indeed said to her family members, and this gives rise to the idea that Doña Marina – La Malinche – was actively denying her indigenous roots and taking the side of the Spanish.  Díaz depicts Doña Marina as being grateful for her life of slavery because it resulted in a relationship with the Spanish and with the Christian god.  This story is one which establishes her role as the betrayer of her people – why else would she so willingly become a Christian, bear a child for Cortés, and marry a Spaniard?  Of course, this retelling has many flaws.  Frances Karttunen questions Díaz’s ability to recount Doña Marina’s words: “Since her words were supposedly addressed to her kin, they would have been uttered in Nahuatl, so how could Bernal Díaz know for certain what she had said?”[23]  Karttunen brings up an interesting point in her questioning of the various ways in which Díaz’s story may be interpreted – as truth, as manipulation of the story, as manipulation by Doña Marina (considering she could have spoken to her family in Nahuatl and then translated her words different for Díaz), or as complete fiction.[24]  It is impossible to distinguish which interpretation is true – one, all, neither – but nevertheless Díaz succeeded in constructing a history for Doña Marina which would survive for half a millennia. 
            There are a great number of disparities between the histories given by Gómara and by Díaz in relation to Doña Marina.  Both of these histories must be questioned in relation to their goals and the effect they would have on later generations.  Díaz has many positive things to say about Marina that in more recent history have been used to demonize her and other women.  Conversely, the image of Doña Marina that Díaz presents is one which is only positive for the Spanish side of the conquest.  She willingly – at least as Díaz describes it – accepts Christianity and a Spanish lifestyle.  Díaz is careful not to call her a slave but Gómara does imply her initial status as one: He writes that Cortés “promised her more than her liberty if she would establish friendship between him and the men of her country.”[25]  Her ability to make personal choices is not questioned by the historians of the sixteenth century, but it may be inferred that she accepted Cortés’ proposal in Gómara’s account. 
Both historians, however, are writing from a European point of view and do not go on to mention the degree of freedom Doña Marina was granted when she agreed to be Cortés’ translator.  The issue of La Malinche’s agency cannot be decided one way or another through the brief accounts of her actual life in the histories and is still vital to the discussion of La Malinche in the twentieth century movements which appropriated her image.  These movements refer heavily to the history which is supplied by the sixteenth-century conquerors but also rely on nineteenth-century images of La Malinche as a cultural betrayer who caused the colonial takeover of Mexico. 
Octavio Paz and La Chingada
One of the earliest twentieth-century texts to use both the historical accounts of La Malinche and her imagined role as betrayer in order to create and exile out of her presence within Mexican national identity is Octavio Paz’s “Los Hijos de La Malinche” or “The Sons of La Malinche.”  Paz is writing after the Mexican Revolution of 1910 which sought to establish a more liberal if not socialist regime within Mexico.  The revolution created confusion within the realm of Mexican national identity through its challenging of Mexican traditions upheld by the upper class, the government, and the church.[26]  Paz’s work seeks to uncover and name the reasons for the traditional Mexican national identity dual submissiveness and aggression.  His work is philosophical and interpretive, attempting to identify what he views as a problem for the Mexican people which can stand to be corrected.[27]  His work finds that the people of Mexico “struggle with imaginary entities, with vestiges of the past or self-engendered phantasms”[28]  Paz looks back into the history of Mexico, most importantly the conquest, in order to understand the present situation of the Mexican people.  His work ties the social consciousness and reality to characters of indigenous and Spanish backgrounds.  He writes: “History helps us to understand certain traits of our characters, provided we are capable of isolating and defining them beforehand.”[29]  The expansion into explaining the Mexican subordinate outlook then spans into the historical images that Mexico must contend with: those of the Conquest and the colonial era that followed.
Paz deconstructs the internal view of Mexicans as ‘los hijos de la chingada’ or ‘the sons of the fucked one’ via the conquest.  La Malinche is a seminal figure in Mexican history and culture because of her role as ‘la chingada’ or ‘the fucked one.’  Paz claims: “The Chingada is the mother who has suffered – metaphorically or actually – the corrosive and defaming action implicit in the verb that gives her her name.”[30]  By connecting La Malinche to the act implied by chingada and then resting her entire self-worth on the subject, Paz disconnects La Malinche first from her historical reality and then from her agency.  Most importantly, chingada is feminine and clearly connects to the role of women in society in general.  Paz writes:
The person who suffers this action is passive, inert and open, in contrast to the active, aggressive and closed person who inflicts it. The chingón is the macho, the male; he rips open the chingada, the female, who is pure passivity, defenseless against the exterior world. The relationship between them is violent, and it is determined by the cynical power of the first and the impotence of the second.[31]

Juxtaposing the role of chingada as woman and the role of chingón as man creates a view of the conquest in which La Malinche is stripped of her agency in her submission to the European conqueror.  By casting La Malinche in this light, the historical view of her becomes that of a woman without agency or choice in her actions.  It seems to deny the actual historical description of La Malinche, which must also be questioned as previously demonstrated, but does grant La Malinche agency through action.  Paz, however, is setting up La Malinche to be a mythical figure in terms of her lack of agency thus allowing her to image to be at the center of blame for the conquest of Mexico. 
            Paz also sets up the word chingada to be forbidden and prohibited, thus making it somehow shameful that La Malinche is referred to as lacking agency but more shameful that the blood-line of the mestizo nation reportedly traces back to her act of submission.  There is a connection between la chingada and the Mexican people, but there is a distinct difference between being los hijos de la chingada and la chingada.  While los hjios feel the shame of the act performed upon the ancestry and internalize this shame, it is left for la chingada to carry the blame of the act of violation which is performed upon her.  Thereby, Mexico feels submissive and shamed by the act, but they are not still open for conquest in Paz’s time.  They are, however, open for foreign influence via the form of a paternal figure – the United States and other western countries.  They have learned from the wrongs committed upon la chingada, but they are los hijos and thereby have the distance to reject the internalization of la chingada, although they do not.
            In the larger view of Mexican women in the Chicano movement of the second half of the twentieth-century, Paz’s idea of chingada and the lack of agency is placed upon all women.  In the introduction to this essay, Paz questions the reality of woman as an ‘other’:
Woman is another being who lives apart and is therefore an enigmatic figure…She attracts and repels like men of an alien race or nationality…Woman is a living symbol of the strangeness of the universe and its radical heterogeneity.  As such, does she bide life within herself, or death?  What does she think?  Or does she think?  Does she truly have feelings?  Is she the same as we are?  Sadism begins as a revenge against feminine hermeticism or as a desperate attempt to obtain a response from a body we fear is insensible.[32] 

The path of questioning the overall ability of women to reason and then stripping La Malinche of her own reason in the conquest is clearly delineated in Paz’s work.  He is questioning women’s ability to be human – if humanity is established through the possession of reason, he is wondering if women have the ability to think at all.  His over-arching “we” fears that women are insensible.  This opinion of women, Paz is trying to explain to the reader, finds its roots in the dichotomy between Hernán Cortés and La Malinche and the role of la chingada.  Paz reaffirms this assertion: “In effect, every woman — even when she gives herself willingly —is torn open by the man, is the Chingada.”[33]  Claiming all women to be la chingada sets them up to all be La Malinche.  There is a fear of betrayal which is reaffirmed by the Judeo-Christian presence of Eve, who performed the ultimate betrayal upon all of humanity.  La Malinche in turn becomes the Mexican Eve, betraying her people to the Spanish conquistadors via her voice and her body, as a translator and as the mistress of Cortés. 
Nevertheless, the act of betrayal requires the presence of agency, which Paz is constantly denying to la chingada and therefore all women.  La chingada lacks any form of action: “Her passivity is abject: she does not resist violence, but is an inert heap of bones, blood and dust. Her taint is constitutional and resides…in her sex. This passivity, open to the outside world, causes her to lose her identity…She loses her name; she is no one; she disappears into nothingness; she is Nothingness. And yet she is the cruel incarnation of the feminine condition.”[34]  In this dual vision of la chingada as “nothingingness” and as the “incarnation of the feminine condition,” a clear hypocrisy begins to emerge about the view of La Malinche in terms of agency.  The phrasing of “cruel incarnation of the feminine condition” implies agency in the presence of the female and is in clear contrast to the nothingness of la chingada.  By assigning any form of condition, Paz gives life to la chingada and thus negates his assertion of her supposed lack of being.  Nonetheless, Paz’s image of submissive betrayal articulates the twentieth century national view of La Malinche as the Mexican Eve.  Eve, the exile incarnate for her participation in original sin, casts the aura of exile from history upon La Malinche throughout Paz’s work and the usage of it in the Chicano Movement.  The Movement was influenced by the view the essay is communicating even if every single member of the movement did not read the work – Paz is most successful in his ability to capture the conscience of the Mexican people in writing.  This conscience also made itself present even in the Chicano Movement centered in the United States.
The Chicano Movement
The Chicano Movement in the United States cannot be separated from the post-revolutionary feelings Octavio Paz is writing about in “Los Hijos de La Malinche.”  Though the movement came into fruition in the 1960s, nearly a decade after Paz published his completed essays, the fervor of the movement stood alongside Paz’s examination of Mexican identity and the role of La Malinche in shaping it.  The Chicano Movement, inspired dually by the African-American Civil Rights Movement and the United Farm Workers organized by Cesar Chavez, sought to confront the racial and class differences Mexican-Americans faced in the white-dominated United States.[35]  The movement, like the civil rights movements which came before and after it, targeted institutionalized racism and inequality through many platforms including legislation, community outreach, and scholarly work.  The movement took on a radical slant after the assimilation attempts of the 1950s.  In his Chicano Manifesto, Armando Rendón describes his discovery of the Chicano community and its effect in bringing him back to his own race: “I owe my life to my Chicano people. They rescued me from the Anglo kiss of death, the monolingual, monocultural, and colorless gringo society. I no longer face a dilemma of identity or direction. That identity and direction have been charted for me by the Chicano.”[36]  The supplicating Mexican-Americans of the post-World War II decade were overrun by radicals, often young people if not students, in an effort to achieve civil rights goals. 
The power of the movement and its ties to Mexico can be accounted for by the post-war reality of the Mexican-American community.  The United States Census in 1960 counted approximately 3,842,000 Mexican-Americans living in the country, the majority of which resided in the Southwest.[37]  This was a fifty-one percent increase from the previous census in 1950.[38]  At the same time, over eighty-five percent of Mexican-Americans were second-generation, native born to native born parents, meaning that the majority of the population increase can be attributed to births and not immigration.[39]  The Mexican-American community, however, was also replenished by nearly 300,000 legal immigrants during the 1950s and an unknown (but undoubtedly higher) number of illegal immigrants.[40]  This change in the composition of the Mexican-American population led to a community which was significantly young – the median age of Mexican-Americans being nineteen compared to twenty-eight in the white community of the Southwest.[41]  This community was also inextricably tied to its Mexican heritage through segregated communities which relied upon tradition and a common language, Spanish.[42]  These strong dies to Mexico and to the identity of the Mexican people kept the role of La Malinche alive within in the Mexican-American community.
These two factors allowed for the Chicano Movement to grow rapidly amongst the Mexican-American population.  One of the distinctions made in the early days of the movement between those with radical involvement was a change in name – radical, academic-minded activists chose the name Chicano for the movement while the conservative sect of the population continued to rely on the term ‘Mexican-American.’[43]  Rendón describes this delineation of Chicano as “the one unique word of the Mexican American people. Its derivation is strictly internal; it owes nothing to the Anglo penchant for categorizing ethnic groups.”[44]  With this usage, the Chicano Movement made a conscious choice to separate itself drastically from the dominant culture of the United States, a step taken in several civil rights movements after assimilation attempts did not spur on instant change.  Carlos Muñoz, Jr. defines the movement as “a quest for a new identity and for political power.”[45]
Simply the focus on the use of the word “Chicano” reveals the disparity in the movement on the issue of women’s rights.  Like many civil rights movements of the 1960s, the Chicano Movement sought to focus on race and class issues without reflecting on the gender problems within the community.  The “basis for unity would be their pride in Mexican ethnicity and culture,”[46] thereby depending on a culture that was historically misogynistic.  When women in the movement, Chicanas, attempted to seek leadership roles, they were often rejected by the men leading the movement and “were inevitably relegated to subordinate positions, such as secretaries, cooks, and janitors.”[47]  Sexual harassment was also a common presence within the movement.[48]  Women reacted to these subservient roles and harassment by pushing for a greater voice within the movement.  Male leaders confronted this threat by associating women who sought to bring feminism into the movement with La Malinche, Paz’s passive betrayer. 
Chicana Reactions
Accusations of feminist leanings and the use of La Malinche ignited the Chicana response within the movement.  Outspoken feminist thought in the Chicano Movement originated from one of the more radical branches in the movement, the Brown Berets.  The Berets moved away from a focus on the academic aspect of the Chicano movement and focused on the barrio – poor and working class Spanish-speaking communities – in which police brutality and drug use were their main concerns, along with bringing awareness to the youth population.[49]  An anonymous work published from a member of the Orange County Brown Berets in 1971 illustrated the desire of women to participate in the movement: “In order to have a successful Revolution you must have full involvement from both the Chicanos and Chicanas.”[50]  The female Brown Beret member sought to address injustices recently done to women in the Brown Beret division of the movement perpetuated by the “deep-macho hang-ups”[51] of the culture.  The article lays out the stereotypes that must immediately be abolished in order to completely involve women in the movement and thereby bring about the most radical change.  The author presents the following stereotypes: “1. ‘A woman is only good for making love to.’  2. ‘All women should do is stay home, was dishes, cook and clean the house.’  3. ‘Women don’t rap as good as men; they aren’t as heavy regarding the movement, and they don’t command the respect of their peers.’  4. ‘Women shouldn’t be allowed to do community work; the work should be done by men.’”[52]  These stereotypes fall in line with those which many feminist groups in the United States in the late 1960s and 1970s were trying to confront: The role of women as simply sexual and domestic, without political or social power.  This view ties in closely to views expressed about La Malinche by writers and thinkers such as Paz.  So commonly referred to as a translator and a mistress, La Malinche directs the focus of women’s work in coherent movements to side kicks and sexual partners.  This translates into a larger view of women within Mexico as a nation and the machismo inherent in the culture.
The anonymous article clearly demonstrates the disparity between Chicanas and Chicanos in a movement which sought civil rights for an entire ethnic group but continued to delegate women to second-class status.  The stereotypes involved here were not exclusive to the late-twentieth century United States – they found footing in historical and cultural precedents dating back even further than the passive role Octavio Paz assigns to La Malinche, la chingada.  They exemplify the woman Octavio Paz returns to time and time again – questionably unthinking, passive, not fit to step outside of submissive roles because of a lack of reason or even humanity.  They mirror la chingada in the woman’s ability to only be a sexual object.  The role is subservient but at the same time is used to hold up the movement, much like Paz’s chingada has a role in explaining what has gone wrong in the Mexican identity. 
The anonymous Brown Beret author concludes that “We don’t blame Chicanos for feeling that women are inferior.  The Chicano family structure teaches the men to be leaders while the women are taught how to do household chores and to think in terms of the day when they will be married.”[53]  There is an understanding that this view of women is learned, is tied to Paz’s views of the national identity’s dependence on the relationship between superior (the white man; the male) and inferior (Mexicans; the female) peoples.  The author recognizes the traditions being demonstrated by the Chicano Movement’s treatment of women but also demands a change, if not a completely radical one.  She still advocates that “Chicanas are needed to stand by their men,” [54] not deviating from the heteronormativity prevalent in Mexican culture.  Most significantly, the author makes a clear point of removing these opinions from the concurrent women’s liberation movement: “That’s not ours – that’s a white thing.”[55]  This closing point addresses the fear and distaste that all members of the Chicano Movement, Chicanas included, felt for associations with institutions and movements led by white Americans.  The specter of La Malinche hung over those who gravitated towards the power of white-led movements and it would take Chicanas who willingly self-identified as feminists to free her image from its centuries-long state of demonization. 
The framing of feminism outside of the white women’s liberation movement is vital to understanding the fear and rebirth of La Malinche in the late twentieth century.  La Malinche was prominent in the Chicano Movement because of her role in the conquest of Mexico as both Cortés’ translator and mistress – a dual betrayal of indigenous peoples.  Centuries of historical writing and philosophical thought was dedicating to portraying her as the sole reason for the collapse of the Aztec empire – all contributing to the vilification of La Malinche and her exile from history.  Malinche served a dual purpose within the Mexican national identity – she was the betrayer but also the model of a woman who was willing to satisfy the desires of men.  In portraying her as a traitor, the focus was placed on which men she helped and which men she hurt. 
It was the appropriation of this image in support of the macho goals of the Chicano movement that sparked the reaction of the Chicana feminists.  In 1977, Martha Cotera wrote “Encouraged by the Octavio Paz mentality, men have used her [La Malinche] as a club for us, to keep us down.”[56]  This action is associated with La Malinche because women who stepped outside of the boundaries delineated by the men in power were labeled as malinchistas – a diminutive form of La Malinche’s name.  Paz described the use of malinchista as a general derogatory term for Mexicans who allowed western culture to penetrate into their society: He describes the “success of the contemptuous adjective malinchista recently put into circulation by the newspapers to denounce all those who have been corrupted by foreign influences. The malinchistas are those who want Mexico to open itself to the outside world: the true sons of La Malinche, who is the Chingada in person.”[57]  This use of malinchista was problematic for the Chicano Movement because their culture was already open to foreign influence – they were, for the most part, United States citizens.  Malinchista was therefore redefined for those who stepped outside of the goals of the movement – and those who did so were for the most part women because the majority of goals within the movement were created by and for men.  The word malinchista is also distinctly feminine, tying all betrayal to the female form whether said betrayal is committed by men or women: “To be a traitor is by implication to become female, while to be female is to be inherently a potential traitor.”[58]  The role of traitor is one closely tied to exile, and La Malinche is inevitably tied to her exile from history.  The act of being labeled malinchista created the dual form of being exiled from the Chicano Movement and also connecting with the historical exile of La Malinche.  These were both undesirable for the women within the movement, since they sought the same equality as their male counterparts and did not desire to have their goals obscured by androcentric ones.  
There were several definitions for what stepping outside of the goals of the movement entailed.  Cherríe Moraga defines one option as that for “the woman who defies her role as subservient to her husband, father, brother, or son by taking control of her sexual destiny.”[59]  This included rejection of heteronormativity either through expression of non-normative sexual desires (for example, lesbianism) or the choice not to have children.  Either stepped outside of the objectives of the Chicano movement – lesbians were viewed as inferior because they could no longer even go as far as to support ‘their’ men.  Consequently, if the Chicano men were not in control of the woman, it was obvious that the white men were, even without a sexual connection.[60]  Both lesbians and women who did not want to bear children were connected to la Malinche despite the historical record demonstrating that she engaged in sexual relations with men and bore at least two children. 
An even broader application of malinchista was afforded to women who were involved with white men or participated in institutions and movements run by white Americans, especially that of women’s liberation.[61]  The second-wave feminist movement in the United States was controlled by middle-class white women.  This led Chicana feminists to shy away from claiming feminism for themselves and gave Chicano men the opportunity to demonize women who related to feminist ideologies.  Cotera explains:
We didn’t say that we were feminists.  It was the men who said that.  They said, “Aha!  Feminista!” and that was a good reason for not listening to some of the most active women in the community.  When the men, and even some of the women, in the movement spoke of liberation, you found that they literally meant liberation for men, and they couldn’t care peanuts about you or your little girls or your little sisters, or your own mother.[62] 

It was the rejection of adding the liberation of women to the goals of the Chicano Movement which caused feminists within the movement to walk away and build their own branches which incorporated gender into the fight for civil rights.  The tag of malinchista could no longer be accepted as the final word when feminist issues were brought up in Chicano meetings and protests.  The use of language which entailed exile would not be tolerated – women did not desire to be exiled from a movement they believed in, but they had no other choice within the patriarchal structure of Chicano society. 
Feminists sought to redefine their own roles as well as the role of La Malinche, to bring her out of her exile from history and to exalt her from the centuries of blame which had been placed upon her.  Cypess notes that “the revisionist works of…Chicana writers are significant because they react to the negative presentations of La Malinche as a direct defamation of themselves.”[63]  The Chicano Movement chose to incorporate La Malinche in a negative light.  Instead of subverting their goals to those of the Chicano leaders because of fears over being contrasted to La Malinche, Chicana feminists sought to revise the role of La Malinche within the collective memory of the Chicano/a people.  Cypess quotes Adelaida Del Castillo: “‘Any denigrations made against her [La Malinche] indirectly defame the character of the Mexicana/Chicana female.  If there is shame for her, there is shame for us; we suffer the effects of these implications.’”[64]  Chicanas would no longer accept the shame of stepping outside of the patriarchal society, and the transformation would come about through the reworking of the character of La Malinche.  Chicana feminists sought to grant La Malinche the agency which Octavio Paz denied.  They questioned the accountability directed to La Malinche for the destruction of an entire empire, and they even questioned the reality of the empire in itself.
Chicana Revision
Octavio Paz described La Malinche as la chingada, a figure without any agency and barely even any humanity.  Chicana feminists reacting to this perpetuated view within the American Chicano Movement sought to not only grant La Malinche her humanity but also her agency.  They aspired to rework the history and interpretation of La Malinche through various platforms – literature, poetry, philosophical manifestos, and academic essays.  They relied on what was supplied by the historians – Gómara and Díaz – and on what society accepted within the realm of social memory.  The shame which Adelaida Del Castillo describes above would be removed through exploration and revision, and La Malinche would no longer be relegated to the realm of exile from history.  She would join the ranks of feminist heroes for the modern era, taking history and all of its implications out of the hands of men who spent centuries writing and reading history which for the most part only sought to benefit their own gendered norms for society. 
The passivity of La Malinche and other women throughout history was challenged by Chicana revisions of popular histories.  ‘Great Man’ histories were challenged by ‘Great Woman’ retellings.[65]  The process of revising history in order to include accomplished women who were ignored by Chicano historians “dispels damaging and distorting images of Chicanas”[66] and “provides Chicana students with positive role models.”[67]  These histories sought to bring women out of their exile from history.  Alma Garcia’s exploration of the entrance of Chicana women into history does find some things problematic.  She says:  “Such accounts remain at a basically descriptive level, lacing a theoretical framework with which to analyze the specific experience of such women.  More importantly, however, this approach fails to analyze the lives of the majority of Mexican women or Chicanas who were the contemporaries of such individuals.”[68]  This analysis of some Chicana histories points out that the interpretation of individual women is not enough; Uncovering the true history of La Malinche, which is both difficult and most likely impossible given the lack of direct account from her, will not obliterate the need for Chicana feminism.  There is an aspect to this process that craves analysis and social application, which demands redemption from the subordinate position Paz and many others have placed La Malinche and other women in.  Straight facts and history textbooks are not enough to subvert misogynistic culture.  As Martha Cotera argued, “What we do with our identity is also our own decision, not the decision of men, the universities, ‘herstories’, ‘his-stories’, or anyone else.  That goes for Malinche and for us today!”[69]  New identities needed to be formed outside of academic circles, identities which could be applied to all aspects of the community, not just the members who could access higher education. 
Artistic interpretation appears to have been the best option for Chicana feminists when it came time to reframe La Malinche.  The lack of La Malinche’s voice in history created a void which Chicanas rushed to fill in attempts to provide her with agency and reaffirm their own evolving condition.  In an article entitled “Yo Soy La Malinche,” Mary Louis Pratt examines the various uses of La Malinche and her voice by Chicana feminist artists in the 1970s and 1980s.  One of the poems she examines, “Trilogy” by Naomi Quiñonez, works to subvert the traditional reasoning for La Malinche’s betrayal through examination of feminine archetypes and patriarchal societies.  Quiñonez begins her poem by comparing three mythical female figures who are all viewed as betrayers: “Eve…Malinche…Helen[of Troy]/Unpredictable hurricanes/sources of destructive power.”[70]  The juxtaposition of these three women, each often blamed for the destruction of their people – though these people are often referred to through androcentric language such as ‘mankind’ – places La Malinche among familiar beings and creates an instant bond with commonplace views of women as traitors.  Quiñonez is not creating this paradigm, she is defining it in order to explore the centuries of blame La Malinche has faced. 
The stanza of the poem which focuses on La Malinche seeks to understand La Malinche’s choices and exalt her from carrying the responsibility for the conquest.  “The atrocity of Malinche’s sin/as if she had no father/who ingrained in her/absolute obedience/to men/as if he had not given her/to Cortez as a gift./She, obeying men/obeyed her father’s wish/to be given/obeyed Cortez/and gave him Mexico.”[71]  Here Quiñonez manipulates the role of men and women in traditional indigenous society in order to come to a conclusion about the reasons for La Malinche’s betrayal.  However, she also ignores the history provided by Gómara and Díaz in order to connect La Malinche’s tragic early years to a male figure.  These histories are themselves flawed, and Quiñonez deliberately plays on the questionable facts of La Malinche’s history in order to further her own feminist aims.  Malinche “obeyed her father’s wish”[72] to be given to Cortés while Díaz has demonstrated that Malinche was sold into slavery by her mother and stepfather and given to Cortés by those who were not her actual family members.  This manipulation of what has been considered historical fact demonstrates the pliability of the La Malinche archetype within her exile from history.  While for centuries men used the story to place blame for the destruction of indigenous culture upon one woman, Quiñonez turns the tables and places blame on the patriarchy – something Chicana feminists heavily identified as a cause of problems within the Chicano movement.  La Malinche had no choice but to help Cortés in the conquest of Mexico, Quiñonez’s poem argues, because she had no choice in her birth as a woman.  She was taught to obey the wishes of men, and so she gave Cortés what he wished for – Mexico.  The analysis of La Malinche through poetry seeks to reestablish not only her agency but also her humanity after centuries of exile, especially after the way she was portrayed in Paz’s essay.  Quiñonez is seeking to displace blame by taking on the patriarchal societies which expect women to obey men and then vilify these same women when they succeed in this task. 
In contrast to Quiñonez, Carmen Tafolla’s 1978 poem attempts to raise La Malinche without shifting the cause of the betrayal away from her.  Pratt recognizes that poems such as Tafolla’s “La Malinche,” seek “re-cognition of Malintzin’s decisive role in determining the course of the Spanish invasion.”[73]  This avenue for explanation aims to question why La Malinche’s powerful part in the conquest has been so threatening to her historical successors, enough that she was specifically singled out for vilification and thereby exile from history.  Tafolla assigns La Malinche agency in the following lines: “And you came/My dear Hernán Cortés/to share your ‘civilization’ – to/play god/…….and I began to dream…/I saw/and I acted![74]  This creates less of a betrayal and more of a choice, a path in which La Malinche saw not an empire which could be betrayed but an empire which could be improved.  The poem endeavors to grant La Malinche agency and even more – power.  She takes control of the situation she is put in because she believes that the conquest could help her and her people: “I saw our world/And I saw yours/And I saw – /another.”[75]  There is also a hint of the formation of the mestizo nation which Mexico became, a mix of indigenous and Spanish ancestry which contributes so heavily to Octavio Paz’s definition of Mexican national identity.
Tafolla aims to move away from the view of Mexico’s birth as coming from a violent act, from the people of Mexico being los hijos de la chingada.  “They could not imagine me dealing on a level with you –/so they said I was raped, used,/chingada.”[76]  Tafolla is challenging Paz and the Chicano mentality that La Malinche was at once a helpless victim and an evil betrayer.  The fear of a woman with agency who made her own decision to deal with Cortés on her own terms in order to better her own life challenges the ideas of la chingada and of the betrayal. 
These conflicting views obscure both La Malinche’s agency and her power.  Why was it that La Malinche was the one singled out for exile from history when thousands of other indigenous peoples, mostly men in the role of warriors, assisted Cortés in overthrowing the so-called Aztec empire?[77]  It is very possible that she was just a woman who used the power she was granted, power she had been denied initially when she was sold into slavery, in order to better herself and perhaps her people.  The historical record does not represent her goals – it barely represents her voice.  The policing of female power through reference to la malinchista in the Chicano movement depicts a fear of female power being used to fulfill androcentric goals.  The Chicana writers of the 1970s sought to define those goals for themselves through the use of La Malinche.  If she could be turned into a positive character, they could not be degraded for seeking more power within their communities and within the United States.
Though these works attempted to grant La Malinche a greater deal of agency, it is still important to note that they were just another instance of manipulation within La Malinche’s exile from history.  Assigning positive or negative values to the works that use her image does not eliminate the fact the La Malinche is still in exile from history because of the lack of her own voice and reasoning in history.  Using her image in order to reach their own goals, Chicanos and Chicanas alike played into the third aspect of exile from history by relying on or changing the historical reality of her presence.  These manipulations were vital in the formation of the modern Mexican national identity both in Mexico and in the United States.
Modern Thought on La Malinche’s Exile from History
Why is La Malinche so captivating in her relation to the conquest and her association with Spanish conquistadors?  Mary Louis Pratt points out that “exploration, imperial invasion, and plunder are endeavors overwhelmingly associated with men.”[78]  La Malinche’s historical presence as an aid to the conquest of a vast society is intriguing because of her status as a female.  Noble or not, she stepped outside of the boundaries her society allocated to women.  Whether or not she had the ability to make choices for herself during her life is still in question, but the record presents her as an active individual and that is the ultimate outcome.  It is rare to see the men who helped Cortés’ conquest being questioned and singled out as betrayers of their people.  Therefore, some sort of conclusion can be made about the association between La Malinche’s power and her womanhood.  There is something threatening about her, or frightening, or simply confusing.  Centuries have been spent trying to vilify or justify her decisions – she was a slave, she must have been forced, she wanted revenge, she sought to bring about a better world than the one she witnessed – but one conclusive answer has never been reached and may never be reached.  This is the source of La Malinche’s exile from history.  She is an enigma, not in the ways Octavio Paz describes women, but in the way that there is no solid historical proof of anything about her, and there may never be.  Despite spending her life speaking and interpreting the words of others, La Malinche’s words about herself were never recorded in an undoubtedly truthful way.  She has no voice, and there is irony in that. 
Despite all of this, La Malinche has struck a chord in the formation of the Mexican national identity and the modern Chicana feminist identity.  Pratt states: “Her very presence contradicts, for example, canonical ideologies of conquest and resistance as masculine heroic enterprises, and reductive visions of the conquest as a straightforward relation between victimizers and victims.”[79]  La Malinche’s presence manipulates the normative views of history, society, and women.  The gap left by her exile from history has been filled time and time again by various groups, all seeking to use her in different ways.  The most important aspect, however, is that she continues to be used and referred to.  Despite the lack of writing from her, she has survived nearly five-hundred years of history and is still having her story told and retold.  She is significant, no matter her degree of exile.
When researching this project, it was impossible to ignore the degree to which La Malinche mattered to the peoples that commandeered her image for their own use.  No matter how positive or negative the portrayals of her were, she was always viewed as a figure who had and has a great deal of importance.  Which is why it is surprising, if not incredibly baffling, that one of the premiere sources for historical research completely discounts La Malinche and her role in the conquest.  The Oxford History of Mexico, a reference source which is an important first step in researching Mexico, says this of La Malinche: “Marina, who spoke both Maya and Nahuatl, is often credited in her role as Cortés’ translator with playing a key role in the Conquest.  However, her importance as interpreter has been considerably overstated.”[80]  The source goes on to site the fact that La Malinche only spoke two native languages when she was given to Cortés and that there were other translators who knew both Spanish and Nahuatl as reasons for the diminishment of her role.[81]  The text does not clarify that Malinche learned Spanish at an incredible pace and has also been credited with the ability to not only speak and understand two indigenous languages but also the various dialects within them.[82]  There is no attempt to identify why Cortés kept her as a translator for so long, only a simple dismissal of the role that has been created for her in the last five-hundred years.  Hassig seems to have ignored the historical record and the cultural precedence of La Malinche in order to focus on the men of the conquest. 
After months spent researching this topic, moving through dozens of sources, one cannot help but believe that no matter the view of La Malinche, whether positive or negative, she is an important figure in the history of the conquest of Mexico and the formation of the national identity of Mexican peoples.  So why is it that this haughty history reference writes away not only her historical role, but her presence in general?  Aside from the Hassig article, La Malinche is only mentioned three more times in The Oxford History of Mexico – as the opening to an essay about the role of women in colonial Mexico, as the mistress of Cortés, and in an explanation of Octavio Paz’s work.  Is this an attempt to remove or belittle her importance in the historical record, to delegate conquest and exploration back to the masculine?  Is this the true result of La Malinche’s exile from history?  Does exile from history result in not a manipulation of her presence but a complete negation of it?  The exile described in this work opens the opportunity for redemption through appropriations by various groups.  The exile employed by the Oxford History of Mexico eliminates her entire existence and the work of these groups over several hundred years.  It is by far the most remarkable of exiles. 
Appendix 1
Trilogy by Naomi Quiñonez[83]

Unpredictable hurricanes
sources of destructive power
The ancients passed us
the ashes of your vulvas
quietly contained them
in earthen pots
golden chalices
stainless steel safes
and placed them
in coffins
of dead women.

Why did
doomed to downfall
blame a woman
eating fruit of knowledge
from a forbidden tree?
Would Eve knowingly
Embrace the pain of childbirth
or the anonymity
of creation?

Tu padre te llevo
a la chingada…
Often we utter
the atrocity of Malinche’s sin
as if she had no father
who ingrained in her
absolute obedience
to men
as if he had not given her
to Cortez
as a gift.
She, obeying men
obeyed her father’s wish
to be given
obeyed Cortez
and gave him Mexico.

The curse of your beauty
is with us today Helen
you have not been alone.
Men have made themselves slaves
to feminine beauty.
You were just another wooden horse
filled with desires
to win wars.
You were created for warriors Helen
not love.

and hurricanes and all other
phenomenal powers
which men cannot explain
to justify their downfalls.
Let your ashes fly into the wind
perhaps today
we can learn to accept

Appendix 2
La Malinche by Carmen Tafolla[84]
Yo soy la Malinche.

My people called Malintzin 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

…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 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 Xocoyotzin

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!)

Another world –
a world yet to be born.
And our child war born…
            And I was immortalized Chingada!

Years later, you took away my child (my sweet mestizo new world
            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 raaaaaaaaa-zaaaaa…….

Works Cited
Anonymous. “The Adelitas’ Role in El Movimiento.” In Chicana Feminist Thought: The Basic Historical Writings. Edited by Alma M. Garcia., 118-119. New York: Routeledge, 1997.

Cotera, Martha P. The Chicana Feminist. Austin, TX: Information Systems Development, 1977.

Cypess, Sandra Messinger. La Malinche in Mexican Literature: From History to Myth. Austin: University of Austin Press, 1991.

Del Castillo, Adelaida R. “Malintzin Tenepal: A Preliminary Look into a New Perspective.” In Chicana Feminist Thought: The Basic Historical Writings. Edited by Alma M. Garcia., 122-126. New York: Routeledge, 1997.

Díaz, Ella M. “1500 by 1939 by 1998 – These Are the Measurements of Malinche’s Body: An Analysis and Review of Twentieth-Century Interpretations of Nationality.” Master’s thesis, College of William and Mary, 2002.

Díaz del Castillo, Bernal. The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico 1517-1521. Edited by Genaro Garcia. Translated by A.P. Maudslay. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1956.

Garcia, Alma M. “Studying Chicanas: Bringing Women into the Frame of Chicano Studies.” In Chicana voices : intersections of class, race, and gender. Edited by Teresa Córdova., 19-29. Alburquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 1993.

Gonzales, Manuel G. Mexicanos: The History of Mexicans in the United States. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1999.

Hassig, Ross. “The Collision of Two Worlds.” In The Oxford History of Mexico. Edited by William H. Beezley and Michael C. Meyer., 79-112. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Jaffary, Nora E., Edward W. Osowski, and Susie S. Porter, eds. Mexican History:  A Primary Source Reader. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2010. 

Karttunen, Frances. “Rethinking Malinche.” In Indian Women in Early Mexico. Edited by Susan Schroeder, Stephanie Wood, and Robert Haskett., 291-312. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997.

López de Gómara, Francisco. The Life of the Conquerer by His Secretary: 1511-1564. Edited and translated by Lesley Byrd Simpson. Berkley: University of California Press, 1964.

Moraga, Cherríe L. Loving in the War Years. 2nd ed. 1983. Reprint, Cambrdige: South End Press, 2000.

Muñoz, Carlos, Jr. Youth, Identity, Power: The Chicano Movement. 2nd ed. 1989. Reprint, New York: Verso, 2007.

Paz, Octavio. “The Sons of La Malinche.” In The Labyrinthe of Solitude 2nd ed., translated by Lysander Kemp, Yara Milos, and Rachel Phillips Belash, 65-88. 1961. Reprint, New York: Grove Press, Inc, 1985.

Pratt, Mary Louise. “’Yo Soy La Malinche’: Chicana Writers and the Poetics of Ethnonationalism.” Callaloo 16, no. 4 (Fall 1993): 859-873. Accessed February 26, 2011.

Quiñonez, Naomi. “Triology.” In Sueño de Colibrí: Hummingbird Dreams, 6-7. Los Angeles: West End Press, 1985.

Rendón, Armando B. Chicano Manifesto: The history and aspirations of the second largest minority in America. Toronto: The Macmillan Company, 1971.

Said, Edward W. “Reflections on Exile.” In Reflections on exile and other essays, 137-147. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000.

Sanchez, Violeta. “Haciendole Justicia: A Discussion of Contemporary Works Claiming To Do Malinche Justice, A Master’s Thesis.” Master’s thesis, University of Houston, 2007.

[1] Frances Karttunen, "Rethinking Malinche," in Indian Women in Early Mexico, ed. Susan Schroeder, Stephanie Wood, and Robert Haskett (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997), 301.
[2] Adelaida R. Del Castillo, "Malintzin Tenepal: A Preliminary Look into a New Perspective," in Chicana Feminist Thought: The Basic Historical Writings, ed. Alma M. Garcia (New York: Routeledge, 1997), 123. 
[3] The discussion of naming is vital to the examination of this woman’s role in history and social memory.  This paper will use the name La Malinche most frequently.  Although it is the name that is most degrading, being irrevocably tied to the process of cultural betrayal, it is the most recognizable.  The repetition of La Malinche seeks to constantly tie the woman to the name and to the process she is associated with and used within.  The names Doña Marina and Malintzin will be used when the referential texts being quoted name her as such.  They will also be used when these texts are heavily analyzed or when the historical period being discussed would have used one of the secondary names instead of La Malinche. 
[4] Frances Karttunen, “Rethinking Malinche,” 296. 
[5] Ibid., 308.
[6] 308-309.
[7] 309-310.
[8]  Edward W. Said, "Reflections on Exile," in Reflections on exile and other essays (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000), 140. 
[9] Frances Karttunen, "Rethinking Malinche," 296-297. 
[10] Francisco Lopez Gómara, The Life of the Conqueror by His Secretary: 1511-1564, ed. and trans. Lesley Byrd Simpson (Berkley: University of California Press, 1964), 57.  Her baptism is also mentioned by Bernal Díaz del Castillo on page 63. 
[11] Ibid. 
[12] Ibid. 
[13] Ibid., 56. 
[14] Bernal Díaz del Castillo, The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico 1517-1521, ed. Genaro Garcia, trans. A.P. Maudslay (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1956), 62. 
[15] Ibid., 64. 
[16] Frances Karttunen, "Rethinking Malinche," 299.   
[17] Bernal Díaz del Castillo, The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico,  66. 
[18] Ibid. 
[19] Ibid., 64.
[20] Ibid., 67.
[21] Ibid.
[22] Ibid., 68. 
[23] Frances Karttunen, “Rethinking Malinche,” 299.
[24] Ibid.
[25] Gómara, The Life of the Conqueror, 56. 
[26] Nora E. Jaffary, Edward W. Osowski, and Susie S. Porter, eds. Mexican History: A Primary Source Reader (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2010), 293-294.
[27] Paz’s work is incredibly philosophical and heavily influenced by historical events that are not all clear at the time.  The difficulty I had in trying to understand his work also made it very clear to me that some of his intentions may have been misconstrued by following generations as well.  His heavy-handed discussion of La Malinche seems to pull his work away from his goal of improving the Mexican condition.  Those who find his work seminal seem less focused on the national identity goals of the essay and often focus more on the dehumanization of La Malinche.  For example, in her Master’s Thesis, Ella M. Díaz claims: “Paz alleged that the Mexican nationality was too female, and therefore he called for the exclusion of Mexican women in the creation of a strong national identity” (Ella M. Díaz, "1500 by 1939 by 1998 – These Are the Measurements of Malinche’s Body: An Analysis and Review of Twentieth-Century Interpretations of Nationality" (master's thesis, College of William and Mary, 2002), 39).  In contrast, Violeta Sanchez claims that “In Paz’s version of events, the mexicanos are the victims, the ones who have to pay the price for a sexually hungry Spaniard and a weak and passive indigenous woman” (Violeta Sanchez, "Haciendole Justicia: A Discussion of Contemporary Works Claiming To Do Malinche Justice, A Master’s Thesis" (master's thesis, University of Houston, 2007), 5).  Mary Louis Pratt views Paz as having written about La Malinche as having “constituted part of a debilitating self-hatred and misogyny that undermined the national psyche.” (Pratt, “Yo Soy La Malinche,” 860). 
[28] Octavio Paz, "The Sons of La Malinche," in The Labyrinthe of Solitude, 2nd ed., trans. Lysander Kemp, Yara Milos, and Rachel Phillips Belash (1961; repr., New York: Grove Press, Inc, 1985), 72. 
[29] Ibid., 73.
[30] Ibid., 75. 
[31] Ibid., 77.
[32] Ibid., 66. 
[33] Ibid., 80. 
[34] Ibid., 85-86. 
[35] The origins of the Chicano Movement are up for debate.  While Manuel Gonazales argues that they stem from a combination of influences such as the African-American Civil Rights Movement and the United Farm Workers (197), Carlos Muñoz, Jr. contributes the movement heavily to the work of Mexican-American university students (16).  Armando Rendón ties the movement to country’s population feeling neglected by the federal government, with Mexican-Americans being “dismissed as a regional problem” due to their large numbers in the American Southwest (18).  I chose to articulate with Gonzales’s argument because it seems to encompass the inspiration for the vast majority of groups within the Chicano Movement, coming both from another minority group and from organizations formed decades before to help the Mexican-American population.  All the theories I read were valid, however, but the aim of this paper does not require an extensive examination of them.
[36] Armando B. Rendón, Chicano Manifesto: The history and aspirations of the second largest minority in America (Toronto: The Macmillan Company, 1971), 324.
[37]Manuel G. Gonzales, Mexicanos: The History of Mexicans in the United States (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1999), 192. 
[38] Ibid., 193. 
[39] Ibid.
[40] Ibid. 
[41] Ibid. 
[42] Ibid., 192.
[43] Sandra Messinger Cypess, La Malinche in Mexican Literature: From History to Myth (Austin: University of Austin Press, 1991), 4. 
[44] Rendón, Chicano Manifesto, 325.
[45] Carlos Muñoz Jr., Youth, Identity, Power: The Chicano Movement, 2nd ed. (1989; repr., New York: Verso, 2007), 26. 
[46] Ibid., 92. 
[47] Gonzales, Mexicanos, 215.
[48] Ibid.
[49] Ibid., 211. 
[50] Anonymous, "The Adelitas’ Role in El Movimiento," in Chicana Feminist Thought: The Basic Historical Writings, ed. Alma M. Garcia (New York: Routeledge, 1997), 119. 
[51] Ibid. 
[52] Ibid. 
[53] Ibid.
[54] Ibid., 118. 
[55] Ibid., 119.
[56] Martha P. Cotera, The Chicana Feminist (Austin, TX: Information Systems Development, 1977), 30. 
[57] Paz, Labyrinth, 86.
[58] Mary Louise Pratt, "'Yo Soy La Malinche': Chicana Writers and the Poetics of Ethnonationalism," Callaloo 16, no. 4 (Fall 1993): 860, accessed February 26, 2011,
[59] Cherríe L. Moraga, Loving in the War Years, 2nd ed. (1983; repr., Cambrdige: South End Press, 2000), 104.
[60] Ibid., 105. 
[61] Pratt, “‘Yo Soy La Malinche’”, 862.
[62] Cotera, The Chicana Feminist,  31. 
[63] Cypess, La Malinche in Mexican Literature, 12.
[64] Ibid.
[65] Alma M. Garcia, "Studying Chicanas: Bringing Women into the Frame of Chicano Studies," in Chicana voices: intersections of class, race, and gender, ed. Teresa Córdova (Alburquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 1993), 20. 
[66] Ibid. 
[67] Ibid. 
[68] Ibid., 21.
[69] Cotera, The Chicana Feminst, 30.
[70] Pratt, “‘Yo Soy La Malinche’”, 865.  Entire poem available in Appendix 1 via my transcription.   
[71] Ibid., 865-866.
[72] Ibid., 866.
[73] Ibid., 867. 
[74] Ibid.  Citation refers to version reprinted in Pratt’s piece, poem is also available in the Appendix 2 via my transcription from Pratt’s piece.
[75] Ibid.
[76] Ibid., 868. 
[77] Ibid., 861. 
[78] Ibid., 859. 
[79] Ibid., 860.
[80] Ross Hassig, "The Collision of Two Worlds," in The Oxford History of Mexico, ed. William H. Beezley and Michael C. Meyer (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 81. 
[81] Ibid.
[82] Frances Karttunen, “Rethinking Malinche,” 300. 
[83] Naomi Quiñonez, "Triology," in Sueño de Colibrí: Hummingbird Dreams (Los Angeles: West End Press, 1985), 6-7.
[84] Pratt, “‘Yo Soy La Malinche’”, 867-868.


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