Important: All events postponed until further notice or cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis
Lecturer: Angela Chantry
In the early 16th century, Hernán Cortés and his conquistadors defeated the great Aztec Empire, built a new city for colonists from Spain and took control of vast lands stretching from today’s south-western U.S. down through most of Central America.
One of the reasons for the success of this conquest was due to the invaluable help of a young woman, Princess Malinalli, known today as La Malinche. Born to noble parents, after the death of her father and re-marriage of her mother, she was sold into slavery to Mayan traders who in turn sold her to the Spanish invaders. Her linguistic abilities brought her to the attention of Cortés and she became his translator and confidante. Malinche’s story can be interpreted in different ways. She has been known as the mother of Mexico, and even Mexico’s Eve (the son she had with Cortés was likely the first mestizo person, of European and indigenous Amerindian heritage). This view is not shared by all Mexicans, however, and for some, La Malinche is the symbol of a great betrayal that led to the death of millions of her fellow indigenous people.