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One of the group of women given to the Spanish by the Tabascans, Malintzin was the daughter of a local lord of a village inland from the Tabasco River. After her father's death, her mother remarried and she was disinherited and sold to merchants. Able to speak both Mayan and Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, Cortes realized her value and made her his mistress and interpreter. Baptised as Dona Marina, she quickly learned Spanish, and helped Cortes in his dealings with the local tribes and the Aztecs. She also gave orders of her own, and was considered the key to convincing other Indian nations to join the Spanish against the Aztecs.

Today known as La Malinche, in Mexico any "Malinchista" is considered to be a betrayer, who turns away from his/her own culture and sells out to foreigners, especially to American global culture. She is also the mother of some of the first children born of both Spanish and native Mexican heritage.

Top Image: Malintzin or "La Malinche" from a mural in Tlaxcala