Popular Culture Review Vol. 24, No. 2, Summer 2013 - Page 43

Malinche: The Voice of a Nation 39 Every September 16th the President o f Mexico repeats the cry (grito) o f Miguel Hidalgo, the father o f Mexico, “ jViva Mexicanos! jViva M exico!” The crowd on the Zocalo o f M exico City replies, “ jViva M exico Carbones!” (Long live Mexico, you bastards!). These words express the desire o f Mexican men to think o f themselves as tough, obstinate and aggressive. They shout, “ jViva Mexico, hijos de la chingada!” (Long live Mexico, sons o f the violated one!). Koronkiewicz noted in his essay, “La Malinche: From Harlot to Heroine” that those who gather in the Zocalo tum an insult into a badge o f honor. They are M alinche’s bastards, the sons o f a violated mother. The term M alinchista is an epithet used by modern Mexicans to describe traitorous behavior, someone who assumes European dress and manners and tum s their back on the customs o f their indigenous ancestors. The picture o f Malinche the reviled arose from four periods o f Mexican history characterized by intense patriotism and nationalism: Independence (1810-1821), W ar with the US (1846-1848), Revolution (1910-1929), and Social reform (1920-1940). The truncated logic o f nationalism insisted that the enemies o f Mexico were Spanish. Malinche helped them. Therefore she was vendepatrias, the treacherous woman who sold out her country to the enemy. Victor Turner called such periods liminal. They provide a threshold for the development o f new myths, Symbols, and paradigms {Ritual 41). Writers and artists reconceptualized Mexican history, especially the Conquest, after M exico gained independence from Spain. They valorized the indigenous people and demonized the woman who betrayed them, reprised in the Mexican song, Maldicion Malinche, The Curse o f Malinche (Maldicion de Malinche). Historical novels played an important role in degrading and demonizing Malinche. William Stavely o f Philadelphia published Xicotencatl (1826), by an anonymous author. The author vilified Malinche as an “unworthy prostitute,” a “very venomous serpent,” and a “traitor and temptress” (qtd. by Cypess La Malinche, 53). He blamed the Spanish. “This American could have been an admirable woman without the corruption which she mastered since associating with the Spaniards” (qtd. by Cypess, La Malinche 55). He insisted that Malinche sold her brothers and sisters into slavery, and blamed her for the destruction of the Aztec civilization. Ignacio Ramirez, a well-known writer, poet, and orator, incited nationalist sentiment during the Mexican-American war. He reminded his listeners that the barragana (concubine) o f Cortes, consorted with