Popular Culture Review Vol. 24, No. 2, Summer 2013 - Page 37

Malinche: The Voice of a Nation Ifyou change the present enough, history will bend to accommodate it. Barbara Kingsolver In troduction Malinche was the Interpreter, intermediary and inamorata o f Cortes. She determined the outcome o f meetings, negotiations, and conversations yet she personifies ambiguity (M etcalf 8). This young, sixteenth Century woman changed the history o f the Americas by her gift o f speech, yet lefit nothing o f her own words. She is part o f Am erica’s 21st Century multi-cultural heritage. She appears in artwork and murals as a hero and a whore. Black velvet paintings o f her sexualized figure signify a male patriarchal Interpretation o f history (Esquibel 301). Malinche graces the walls of eponymous Mexican restaurants in Sarasota, Florida; Rahway, New Jersey; and Wauconda, Illinois. She decorates calendars and cigar boxes, appears in the 2012 Genzoman digital art cartoon, “M alinche,” and embellishes 2013 “Aztec Art” tattoos by Jaime Gallegos. Her image adoms vans and low riders (Sandoval 179). Her will to survive speaks to the powerless and marginalized. She inhabits the edge, the border, the periphery. She is the bridge, the connection, and the supreme mediator between two cultures. She is present when Anglo historians describe the success o f the Conquistadors, when a Chicano looks at his heritage, when a Chicana develops her sense o f identity. This acceptance o f divergent views o f Malinche as revered, reviled, and a role model employs the ideas o f three theorists. Scholar Peter Novik argues that every historian writes from his own perspective. British anthropologist Victor Turner States that paradigm shifts o f a nation’s founding mythology occur during times o f stress. Chicana Gloria Anzaldua promotes a post-modern view that embraces ambiguous or contradictory concepts. These academics provide a multidisciplinary analysis