Anna Lanyon, author and historian
Revisit the story of Malintzin, or Malinche as she is known in Mexico, a teenage girl who played a critical role in the conquest of the Aztecs. Given to the Spaniards by the Mayans as a humble slave, she became interpreter and intelligence gatherer for the Spanish leader, Hernán Cortés, and the mother of his first son. Malinche’s courage and gift for languages allowed her to survive through unimaginably precarious times. Yet in modern Mexico she is often scorned as a traitor. Was she? Or do our histories construct the heroes and villains we need?
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